Minister for Health, Simon Harris, today announced that €2 million was secured in Budget 2020 for the Autism Plan.
Over the next year, the additional funding secured will be used in a number of priority areas:
The Minister said:
Minister of State for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, also welcomed the additional funding:
Following the publication of the Review of the Irish Health Services for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in December 2018, the Minister asked the HSE to commence the implementation of the recommendations in the review.
The HSE has established a National ASD Programme Board with the key responsibility of leading the implementation of the Review report recommendations. The Board consists of senior operational and clinical decision makers as well as independent professional and academic support.
Crucially, the Programme Board will have representation of persons with lived experience of ASD participating as equal members of this important collaborative team effort.
In implementing the recommendations of the Review Report, the Programme Board has been tasked with leading out on an agreed set of priorities that will have greatest impact in terms of improving how services can be delivered to people with ASD and in respect of creating greater awareness of ASD.
In addition, the HSE are currently engaged in a reconfiguration of services under the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People and are also in the process of improving the Assessment of Need process.
These are important structural changes that will have a positive impact on services for all children with disabilities, including those with Autism.