Bacik calls for National Autism Empowerment Strategy

27 April 2021

Ivana Bacik

Speaking today at the launch of the Labour Party motion about autism, Senator Ivana Bacik said:

“Our Labour motion addresses a number of key issues for autistic people,adults and children. It raises in particular the need to tackle the lengthy delays experienced by many parents seeking assessments for their children. It also raises the profound shortage of school places for children with autism. I have met with parents' groups in South Dublin who have spoken with me about the immense difficulties they have had securing school places for their children; and their frustration at seeing their children being bussed into other areas because there are simply no places available in local schools. This situation should not be occurring, we need to ensure that there are adequate places for children in each local community.

“The Labour Party has called for a €100 million Catch Up for Children Scheme to be introduced by Government to address the lack of access for children to supports and extracurricular activities as a result of school closures. A dedicated fund is needed to help children to make up for lost class time - and particular attention is needed for children with autism and with additional needs. Taking an evidenced based approach, through the introduction of such a scheme, Government can address some of the damage that has been caused by pandemic-related closures of schools and services for children.

“The Labour motion also, crucially, calls for the launch of a National Autism Empowerment Strategy - and we look forward to continuing our advocacy and work alongside groups like AsIAm to make this happen."