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Autism plan to be revealed in 2019

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 10:43am

Ireland’s first ever autism plan is set to be revealed in 2019, it was announced today.

The plan was announced by Minister for Health, Simon Harris who has published two reports on the prevalence of autism in Ireland and a review of the services for people with autism. 

The first report published by Minister Harris describes the complexity of the changing classification of autism over many decades and that, while the prevalence of autism has increased in the last twenty years, uncertainty still remains about the true prevalence of autism globally.

In the second report, Minister Harris asked the HSE to review current services for autistic people and identify examples of good practice that can be replicated wider in the health service.

Speaking as the two reports were published, Minister Harris said: “This was a significant priority for me upon entering office. I have now asked the HSE to proceed with the implementation of the recommendations in the report. This commitment will be reflected in the HSE National Service Plan for 2019 and will form part of an overall autism plan to be published next year.

“I am particularly pleased that autistic people will have direct input into the implementation of the recommendations of the HSE Review Report. Additionally, I also welcome the establishment of an implementation programme board and public awareness campaign relating to autism.”

Minister Harris further added: “Improving services includes increasing knowledge and changing attitudes from how we autism-proof our health services to the language we use to discuss autism. As we see a generation of young people age out of our school system and into adulthood, and as more and more adults seek to access diagnosis, we must ensure our adult services become truly inclusive, accessible and equitable.

“The importance of early intervention and continued access to necessary therapy and assessments is well documented and it is a priority for me and for the HSE to improve these services across the board for these children and for all children with additional health needs,” concluded Minister Harris.

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