The €2 million announced in Budget 2020 for the Autism Plan, will be used in a number of priority areas according to Health Minister, Mr. Simon Harris.
He said it would be used:
- To implement a programme of awareness raising that can provide a better information resource for children and parents about what supports are available.
- A campaign to assist in creating awareness of the challenges, needs and experiences of people with autism.
- To build capacity and competence amongst key professionals working with autism – including a national training programme for clinicians and the implementation of a tiered model of assessment in order to improve access to and responses by services for those with ASD.
The Minister said, “The proposed campaign will have two key aims, to support and to educate. We want to improve the information provided to people with ASD and their families and help guide them to the supports available from our health service throughout their lives and to create a wider public environment in Ireland that was more aware of the lives, needs and experiences of people with ASD.”
The HSE has established a National ASD Programme Board with the key responsibility of leading the implementation of the recommendations of the 2018 Review of the Irish Health Services for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Board consists of senior operational and clinical decision makers as well as independent professional academic support and persons with lived experience of ASD.
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.