Parliamentary Question for Kathleen Ryan TD
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 30/04/2014
To ask the Minister for Health the supports available for persons with autism when they finish school; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The HSE, through its Occupational Guidance Service, works with schools, service providers, service users and families to identify the training needs of people with disabilities, including autism. The Occupational Guidance Officer provides one to one advice, support and guidance to enable individuals with a disability aged 16 to 65 years, including those with high functioning autism, to make an informed choice about their rehabilitative training and occupational options. The provision of work-related training is the responsibility of SOLAS and the Department of Education and Skills, while life-skills training and general day services are provided by the HSE.
The aim is to address the needs of individuals in one or more of the following ways:
– health-funded rehabilitative training;
– health-funded day services;
– SOLAS-funded vocational training;
– extension to education placement for a specified time.
The plan for each individual is dependent on:
– final decisions by service users where more than one service model may be considered;
– approval, if requested, to extend current educational placements;
– capacity of providers to make best use of available resources.
An additional €7 million demographic funding has been allocated to the HSE in 2014 to address the needs of young people with disabilities who are due to leave school this year.