Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (83, 84)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

83. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 273 of 13 May 2014, if he will ensure the pamphlet, to which he made reference, when published, will include a list of all interventions currently approved by his Department for use in educating children with autism; and if not, the reason such a list is not currently available to parents of children with autism. [28678/14]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

84. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 274 of 13 May 2014, wherein he advised that the information pamphlet regarding the education of children with autism was at an advanced stage and would be published shortly by the National Council for Special Education in consultation with his officials; the reason this pamphlet has not been published; and the date upon which it is now expected to be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28679/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 and 84 together.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the National Council Special Education (NCSE) has advised that final preparations are underway for the printing and publication of the information pamphlet for parents/guardians of children with autism. The pamphlet could not be published until this preparation was completed.

As previously outlined 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. It will provide a general overview of available supports and services rather than the detail mentioned in his question.

My Department's position is that, as each child with autism is unique, they should have access to a range of different approaches to meet their individual needs. As children differ significantly from one another and as children's needs vary and change over time, it is not possible to impose a method or approach that will work for all children with autism. There is not an exhaustive list of approaches or interventions which can be accessed to support the education of children with autism as new approaches continue to emerge.

As the Deputy is aware the NCSE is currently preparing policy advice on the education of children with autism. Their report which is due in 2015 will identify the nature and extent of educational intervention/s, teaching practices and other supports which should be provided to enable children with autism to achieve educational outcomes appropriate to their needs and abilities and will inform future policy development.