Autism on the increase according to conference

Friday 13 January 2012 19.39
Minister for Health announces €3m in extra funding.
Minister for Health announces €3m in extra funding.

An international conference on autism which is taking place in Galway has heard that the condition is on the increase.

The conference, "Autism Spectrum Disorder: from Clinical Practice to Educational Provision" is unveiling the latest research on early diagnosis of autism.

It will also focus on providing practical solutions and approaches to diagnosis, clinical management, education, and adult service provision.

It is the first international conference organised by The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research, in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, in partnership with Autism Speaks and The American Ireland Fund.

Over 600 researchers, healthcare professionals, teachers, and parents are at the event from around the world.

Speaking at the conference today, Minister for Health James Reilly announced additional funding to address the needs of children with Autism.

He said €1m will be allocated this year, with a further €1m following over each of the next two years - a total of €3m.

This funding, which will be reflected in the HSE's Service Plan, will be focussed on addressing waiting times for specialist therapy services for children who have been diagnosed with autism and on developing Early Intervention Teams.