A SCOTTISH Labour-run council has come under fire over language used in one of its posts on social media.

West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) published an image of the Titan Crane in Clydebank to its Facebook page earlier today stating the iconic structure would be lit up with blue lights this evening to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

Part of the post read: “The day is recognised internationally and aims to raise awareness and tolerance of the condition.”

However, residents were outraged with the use of the word “tolerance” in the statement.

The National: The post received more than 50 comments in the first hour of it being up – including three from councillors calling on the local authority to remove it.

Councillor Jonathan McColl said he was "ashamed" of this use of language and would be contacting WDC's chief executive calling for the post to be deleted.

McColl wrote: “As a councillor in West Dunbartonshire, I'm ashamed of this post. I have a number of family members on the spectrum.

“I love and value them like every other member of my family. I don't TOLERATE them thank you very much.

“I'm emailing the chief executive now asking for this awful post to be deleted and an apology posted.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Lauren Oxley commented that she was “extremely disappointed”.

Oxley added: "As a WDC councillor and someone with family members with autism – funnily enough, it’s a prime example of why we still need autism awareness.

"People with autism should not just simply be 'tolerated' – they should be accepted, embraced and supported to live their lives to the very fullest.

“It’s attitudes like this that so often result in neurodivergent people being treated as afterthoughts, rather than active efforts being made to include them and meet their needs."

Councillor Sophie Traynor slammed the post as "completely inappropriate and unacceptable". 

Traynor said: "Completely inappropriate and unacceptable choice of words being used in this post by WDC.

"As a council, we should be seeking more than 'tolerance' of individuals who have autism. We should be striving for understanding, acceptance and inclusion of neurodiversity within our community.

"I have written to the chief executive asking for reflection from the council on its attitude towards equality-related issues in the hope of creating a change going forward."

Residents also expressed their anger in the comments.

One person said: "Did anyone read over this prior to posting? Tolerance? If that's WDC thoughts then there is a LONG way to go in the council's approach to autism acceptance.

"I'm mortified for you."

A second commented: "Tolerance and the colour blue. Not a lot of research went into this. Although I'm sure it's not intentional to upset people.

"But maybe a bit more research and understanding might be better next time."

A third wrote: "Very disappointing post which seems to show lack of awareness and understanding of autism.

"The goal should always be to understand, interact, and include autistic people within all aspects and areas of life.

"I think perhaps some autism awareness training would be useful."

The council has now apologised.

A statement read: “We sincerely apologise for any offence caused by our previous post. Our intention was to raise awareness and support for autism, however, we understand why the wording used has caused upset and as such we have removed the post.

“As a council we always strive to be inclusive in our approach, valuing every member of our community.

“We accept the post fell short of that aim and we will reflect to ensure similar errors are avoided in future.”