Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (273, 274)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

273. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 183 of 30 April 2014, the date on which the information pamphlet he referred to will be issued; if the pamphlet will include a list of all interventions currently approved by his Department for use in educating children with autism, along with at least one reference to peer-reviewed research supporting the effectiveness of each intervention listed; and if the pamphlet will specify that the decision on whether to use all or any of these interventions will be made by the classroom teacher. [21480/14]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

274. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 183 of 30 April 2014, in view of the participation of the National Council for Special Education in the preparation of the information pamphlet regarding the education of children with autism, if he will confirm that the pamphlet will not contain a statement that all children, including children with special educational needs, have a right to an education which is appropriate to their needs, as this statement is misleading and contained in the NCSE booklet of September 2011; and if this statement will also be removed from the NCSE booklet of September 2011. [21481/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 273 and 274 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the information pamphlet for parents/guardians, being prepared and published by the NCSE in consultation with my officials, is at an advanced stage of preparation and will shortly be published. The aim of this pamphlet is to inform parents and guardians of supports and services available for children and young people with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Although an outline of my Department's policy will be a feature, the publication of the pamphlet is not intended to replace any formal statement of the Minister's policy on the education of children with autism spectrum disorder nor is it, or the NCSE booklet of September 2011, purporting to be a legal document. The contents of the booklet are a matter for the NCSE. The pamphlet will be broadly similar to the NCSE pamphlet in respect of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. I have arranged for a copy of that pamphlet to be sent to the Deputy. The Deputy will see that this pamphlet, which is the first of a series of such pamphlets being prepared for a wide variety of special educational needs, provides a general overview of available supports and services rather than the detail mentioned in his question.