Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (299)

Willie Penrose

Question:

299. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills the action he will take to have a young person (details supplied) in County Westmeath assessed immediately by a clinical psychologist in view of the fact that the person is now in an early intervention unit for autism and it has been indicated that the person requires urgent diagnosis and continuous therapy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30743/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports, including the allocation of resource teachers and Special Needs Assistants to schools. The NCSE operates within my Department's established criteria for the allocation of Special Education supports and the staffing resources available to my Department. All schools have the names and contact details of their local SENO. Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.

All primary and post primary schools also have access to support and guidance from the National Educational Psychological Services (NEPS) and have access to psychological assessments either directly through the assigned NEPS psychologist or through the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA) that is administered by NEPS and which supports the cost of assessments provided by a panel of private practitioners. The school concerned may wish to seek guidance from their assigned NEPS psychologist regarding this matter. I also wish to clarify for the Deputy that the responsibility for the recruitment and deployment of health professionals along with the provision of therapy supports is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive.