Press Release

Minister Simon Harris encourages submissions to autism services review

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, today (Thursday) encouraged people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), parents and clinicians to make submissions to a review the HSE is undertaking of the supports and services available for ASD.

“I want to ensure that people with ASD have access to the necessary supports to enable them to reach their full potential and live rich and fulfilling lives. I recognise the need for a strategic approach to enhancing the responsiveness and effectiveness of services to meet the evolving needs of people with ASD. At my request, the HSE has set up a working group to consider the effectiveness of existing services, to identify models of good practice among such services and to identify practice models that are not having a positive impact. It is important that we identify where in the country services are operating well and where they are not. The HSE has now invited submissions from service users, parents and practitioners and I want to encourage people to take the opportunity to have their voices heard.

“Three workshops will also be held in September with key service user advocates and NGOs: Disability Federation of Ireland; the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies and Inclusion Ireland and the working group will report on its findings by the end of September. I have also asked my Department to initiate an epidemiological research study into the prevalence and future projections for autism spectrum disorder later this year to to allow us to plan for the future and future-proof our strategies for people with autism. Following the advancement of this work, I intend to proceed next year with a national strategy for enhancing the health service response to people with ASD.”

Ends

Note for Editors

Further information is available on the HSE website: http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/disability/Autism-Review/Autism-Review.html