Written Answers. - Autism Services.

John McGuinness


102 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children the funding which was made available to the South-Eastern Health Board for autism specific projects in each year from 1999 to date in 2002; if he will identify each project and its location within the South-Eastern Health Board; if a population study has been carried out within the South-Eastern Health Board region to identify the number of people with autism, their location and circumstances; if the body representing those with autism has met the South-Eastern Health Board to put their proposals for the development of Myshall; if the South-Eastern Health Board is proactively supporting these proposals; the action the board has taken to date; and if all of the supports needed in special schools such as speech therapists are now in place. [4010/02]

Specific funding was allocated to the South-Eastern Health Board by my Department for the development of health related support services for children with autism in 1999 and 2000. In 2001 and 2002, further funding for these services was allocated for both children with autism and those with an intellectual disability. The amounts in each of the years 1999 to 2002 are as follows: 1999, €597,000; 2000, €254,000; 2001, €317,000; 2002, €254,000. Significant additional funding was allocated to the board for the development of a range of other support services, including residential, respite and day services, for persons with an intellectual disability and those with autism. I have asked the chief executive officer of the board to forward to the Deputy details of individual projects specifically for persons with autism which have been developed in the period in question and information in relation to the supports available to special schools.

Interviews for the position of project worker to undertake a review of services and needs assessment of children and adults with autism in the South-Eastern Health Board region are taking place within the next week. The review is to be completed within a six month timeframe and the future use of the property at Myshall will be part of that review.