Thursday, 15 November 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
4. Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received the report of the UK based National Foundation for Education Research on State-funded models of educational supports available to children with autism; if so, if he will publish the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28292/01]
Dr. Woods: The National Foundation for Educational Research submitted its report to my Department at the end of last month. The foundation was commissioned by my Department in May of this year to carry out a detailed review of all current State-funded models of educational response to the needs of children with autism. The review covered provision currently being made for children with autism in special schools, special classes attached to ordinary schools, integrated settings in ordinary schools and by way of home-based programmes.
The foundation's report is a detailed and complex document which highlights the range of issues involved in the development of educational support services for children with autism. My Department is currently considering the report in detail.
I intend that the report will be made publicly available as soon as possible in conjunction with the report of the task force on autism, which has been received in my Department in recent days. With this in mind, my Department is arranging to have copies of both reports printed so that they can be made available to interested parties as soon as possible.
Mr. Creed: The Minister referred to the report of the task force on autism. This report was repeatedly promised by the Minister, but all the deadlines passed. When does the Minister expect the task force report to be available? Does the UK National Foundation for Educational Research report make recommendations or give findings on the ABA method of instruction for children with autism?
Dr. Woods: The two reports have only recently reached the Department and it is preparing documentation on them for me. We want to publish the reports and as soon as I have them, I will ensure that happens.
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