Case study: 'My sister still needs constant attention and supervision'

ANNE-Marie was diagnosed with autism at a clinic in Canada at the age of five at a time when little was known about the condition.

Now 63, she still needs close care and support to help her cope and lives in a special home run by Scottish Autism in Lochgelly, Fife.

Her brother, Alistair, said: "My parents struggled to get any treatment for her or any therapy.

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"When we came back to Scotland little was known about autism."

From an early age, Anne-Marie had problems communicating with others and became agitated by sudden changes in routine.

She has never had a job and has relied on family and carers to look after her. "Anne-Marie still needs constant attention and supervision," Alistair said.

"She had do simple things like dressing herself and washing. She likes to do baking and housework, but she needs to be supervised all the time."

Alistair said his sister had started to live a supported independent life at the care home.

"She is not as dependent on me as she might otherwise have been," he said.