Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

217 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children estimated to suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; the supports which are available to such children and their parents; his views on whether the supports are adequate; and his further proposals in this regard. [22129/02]

The working group on child and adolescent psychiatric services established by the Department of Health and Children in June 2000 found that the prevalence of attention deficit disorder in Ireland can be estimated at between 1% and 5% of school age children, that is, aged five to 15 years, which is in line with the research findings in other European countries.

The development of services for the management and treatment of attention deficit disorder was considered by the working group. In its report, presented in March 2001, it recommended the enhancement and expansion of the overall child and adolescent psychiatric service as the most effective means of providing the required service for children with attention deficit disorder.

The health strategy, Quality and Fairness – A Health System For You, includes a commitment to the implementation of the recommendations of the working group.
The working group noted that the internationally acknowledged best practice for the provision of child and adolescent psychiatric services is through the multi-disciplinary team. In 2002, additional revenue funding of €6.061 million, £4.773 million, was provided for health boards for the recruitment of these consultant-led teams and for the further enhancement of existing multi-disciplinary teams.
At present, each health board has in place a minimum of two consultant-led child and adolescent multi-disciplinary teams.