07 Oct 2022

Carlow/Kilkenny TD welcomes support for Autism empowerment strategy

Carlow/Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion has welcomed cross-party support for her party’s motion on increased supports and resources for people with Autism.

Speaking in the Dáil last night (Tuesday), Deputy Funchion said: "It is particularly poignant and appropriate that this motion is being debated on World Autism Awareness Day.

"This motion sets out a clear framework towards finally delivering an Autism Empowerment Strategy for Ireland.

"We are calling for the setting up of an all-party Oireachtas committee which will be mandated with producing an Autism Empowerment Strategy within 6 months."

She added: "Critically, this needs to happen in conjunction with the various advocacy groups, parents and autistic individuals directly.

"The equal right to education for all children is not being upheld currently by the State and this Government, and this must change.

"The failure to makes diagnoses in adequate time for school applications, the lack of ASC classes and places available for autistic children is a denial of a child’s right to education. These factors have created a two-tier system within our education system.

"We need to find solutions to the barriers facing autistic children gaining places in schools and address the fundamental issues as to why schools are reluctant to open ASC classes.

"Our schools must be resourced adequately to provide equally for all children who attend - with or without additional needs.

"This is not an issue for parents to fight alone, it is the responsibility of all of us. We all have a role to play in creating an inclusive embracive education system that we can be proud of."

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