Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Gerry Adams calls for the Greater Resources to meet the needs of Children with Autism

10 September, 2003

Gerry Adams MP and Cllr. Sue Ramsey today met with the Parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The group are campaigning for greater parental choice and additional resources to be targeted to support the needs of children with Autism.

Speaking after the meeting Gerry Adams said:

"Over the past number of year there has been a greater awareness and diagnosis of Autism. After diagnosis many families are left to find there way through a complex system of care and array of therapies. They also have to act as the primary care givers. The parents I met today have struggled to raise their children in the most adverse circumstances.

"Last year Martin McGuinness as Education Minister released a report into the needs of these children and their families. At that time Martin said, 'I support the view that every child is unique and that provision has to be tailored to meet the child's needs, not the other way round'

"Since suspension of the Assembly, the implementation of this report has been painfully slow. Through this period the needs of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder have yet to be fully met.

"There is a need to support these families and children. There is a need to provide therapies such as Applied Behavioural Analysis at home and at school. And there is a need for these therapies to be free.

"I hope that the Department will now move to implement of the Taskforce recommendations and work with these families to develop a dedicated school of children with ASD." ENDS

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