The mother of a teenage girl with autism who was turned away from a local resource centre is celebrating after her petition received massive local support.
Nearly 900 people have signed the petition calling on Argyll and Bute Council and Health and Social Care Partnership to provide services and support for people on the autistic spectrum in the area.
Jamie Buckley, an 18-year-old from Tayvallich in Argyll, was left feeling “unwanted”. She was told she could not attend her local centre for adults with special needs because her IQ was too high.
Miss Buckley had been a straight-A student at Lochgilphead High School before her condition led to a major breakdown three years ago and she had to leave school.
She is now attempting to rebuild her life, but was left devastated when she was told she could not attend the resource centre in Lochgilphead because autism “is not recognised as a learning disability.”
Her mother Jenny said that there are currently no services or support in Argyll for people on the autistic spectrum. She said: “There are an estimated 862 adults and children living with autism in Argyll and Bute.”
But after the petition on the change.org site received 896 signatures, the care partnership is looking at opening up Lochgilphead Resource Centre to more people.
Mrs Buckley said: “The social workers I have spoken to since this started have said they are now looking at changing the use of the resource centre so that they can utilise it better and open it up to people with different levels of difficulties and disabilities.
“At the moment it is only for people with very high needs and is not being used to anywhere near half of its capacity. There are a lot of people in the area with lots of different difficulties that don’t have access to any services. This building is already there.
“The petition has drawn the situation to a lot of people’s attention. They can’t get away with not doing anything anymore.
“This obviously won’t happen in the near future, they will need to train staff. But it is really good news and has given Jamie a voice. It is important to her that this is going to make a difference to a lot of people’s lives, not just hers.”