Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 500 Next Page Last Page

 197.  Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will consult with professional bodies in applied behaviour analysis Ireland to ascertain the extent of the misrepresentation of ABA in the report of the taskforce on Autism. [16521/12]

 198.  Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly  asked the Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  in relation to appropriate investment in education the reason professionals not trained in applied behaviour analysis are being consulted with rather than international organisations representing the science of ABA. [16522/12]

 218.  Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will review a matter (details supplied) regarding autism. [16673/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 197, 198 and 218 together.

The Task Force on Autism Report was published in 2001 and its recommendations concerning broad educational provision for children on the autistic spectrum from pre-school through to third level provided the basis for the development of educational services and supports for persons with autism since then.

The Task Force was composed of a combination of parents, education and health professionals, advocates and researchers. The professional backgrounds of members included psychiatry, psychology and education. The Task Force was chaired by the then head of the Education Department in UCD. The final report, which is available on my Department’s website, represents the insights of the members and a number of experts from Ireland and other jurisdictions.

In line with the recommendations of the Task Force Report, my Department strives to ensure that a continuum of special education provision is available as required for children with special educational needs. In line with this, the policy is to promote a child-centred approach to education of all children with special educational needs including those with autism. As each child with autism is unique the policy is that they should have access to a range of different approaches to meet their individual needs. This facilitates access to individualised education programmes, fully qualified professional teachers who may draw from a range of autism-specific interventions, including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Treatment and Education of Autistic Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) and Picture Exchange Communications System (PECS).

[778]This policy is based on advice received from my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), research and reviews published by international and national experts, including:

“The Evaluation of Educational Provision for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (2006)” published by my Department’s Inspectorate,

“The International Review of the Literature of Evidence of Best Practice Provision in the Education of Persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorders” undertaken by the Autism Centre for Education and Research, University of Birmingham and funded by the National Council for Special Education.

My Department continues to develop policy and programmes for children with special educational needs, including those with autism, and will continue to take relevant professional advice into account in this regard.


Last Updated: 04/04/2015 11:07:42 First Page Previous Page Page of 500 Next Page Last Page