Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (26)

Martin Ferris

Question:

26. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it has been clearly demonstrated in a number of studies (details supplied) that have been supplied to his Department that the exclusive use of ABA for some children has proved to be more effective than other eclectic type approaches. [11749/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The position is that there is no definitive or universally accepted research which supports the use of one intervention exclusively for all children with autism. However, research does support the use of any of a range of autism-specific interventions depending on the individual needs of the child. My Department's policy is based on the advice of international experts on autism; NEPS; the Inspectorate; an analysis of research, including the study referred to by the Deputy and the report of the Irish Task Force on Autism. The preferred approach ensures that each child can draw from a number of different approaches to ensure the optimum individualised educational programme for him/her. The use of behavioural interventions, including ABA, is supported by my Department by providing training for teachers in their use. However, it does not accept that ABA should be the only intervention used. My Department remains willing to review and consider any further research.