Fund worth £13.4m to help Scots with autism
Almost £14m in public money is being used over the next four years to improve services used by people with autism and Asperger Syndrome.
The investment will result in a new drop-in service for those diagnosed with the condition.
The Scottish government and local authority umbrella body Cosla are supporting the £13.4m initiative.
The money will also be spent on employing more autism co-ordinators to provide information and support.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said people with autism, and their families, "needed to be supported by a range of services such as social care, education, housing, employment and other community-based services".
He added: "I am delighted therefore to be launching, with Cosla, the Scottish Strategy for Autism, backed up with £13.4m of resources, to deliver the improvements necessary for the individuals and families.
"This includes the appointment of local autism co-ordinators who will help ensure people with autism are given the care and support they need in a way which promotes their independence and emotional well-being and respects their dignity.
"We also want to see more drop-in centres similar to Number 6, which provides services under one roof for people with autism.
"The new strategy includes recommendations which we will now take forward with our colleagues in local government. We will each receive an annual progress report for which we will be jointly accountable."