Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sharing of Information essential for Autism

20 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady speaking after attending the Launch of the Celtic Nations Autism Partnership in the Long Gallery in Stormont, which brought autism groups from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and representatives from Swedenhas said that the key purpose of the Partnership was facilitate the sharing of training, information and skills from one country to another as well as to encourage joint research and campaigning on relevant at local, regional, European and international autism spectrum disorder (ASD) issues.

Mr Brady said:

"Sinn Féin commends these societies for their strategic endeavours in acting as catalysts for the development of political, policy and strategy profiling for autism. I congratulate each of the Celtic autism partners for their respective pioneering innovative work responding to a demonstrable constituency of families with an individual with an ASD."

The Launch was performed by Catriona Ruane and Michael McGimpsey, ministers for Education and Health respectively. One of the issues being pursued is the need for an Autism Act.

Mr Brady added:

"There is wide support from across the political board for an 'Autism Act' to be introduced which should not only provide the level protections required but also give the condition the profile it deserves and raise awareness on the subject. There is also an urgent need for the provision of proper financial and support resources. An infrastructure to deal with Autism in a caring, professional and structured way is essential.

"While it is very frustrating that the Middletown Autism Centre facility which had been first brought on stream by Martin McGuiness has not been up and running before now, there was a confidence that we were seeing positive signals that the waiting was over. The Centre will offer support and training to people living with and working with autism from across the island. There is no doubt of the huge benefits that the Centre will bring." ENDS

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