Autism services issues discussed at meeting

Sinn F�in MLA Karen Mullan has met with Kieran Downey, Director of Karen Mullan Foyle MLA with young people and families affected by Autism and Sinn Fein representatives at the meeting with Kieran Downey  and Ann McDuff.
Sinn F�in MLA Karen Mullan has met with Kieran Downey, Director of Karen Mullan Foyle MLA with young people and families affected by Autism and Sinn Fein representatives at the meeting with Kieran Downey and Ann McDuff.

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has met with local families and senior representatives of the Western Trust to discuss Autism services locally, including waiting lists for therapies.

The Foyle MLA facilitated the meeting, which was attended by a number of young people with Autism, families as well as Kieran Downey, Director of Women & Children’s Services at the Western Trust and Ann McDuff, Assistant Director of Community & Public Health.

Speaking after the meeting, which took place this week, Ms. Mullan said there had been some good discussions over concerns and ideas for improvement of Autism services.

She said: “I facilitated a positive meeting with families and young people in the city who are affected by Autism to provide space for them to raise issues they face daily directly with the Western Health & Social Care Trust.

“The meeting focused on a range of issues including the waiting lists for occupational therapy, speech and language services, direct payments for respite and young people transition services.”

Ms. Mullan said there was an increase in the prevalence of children and adults being diagnosed with Autism.

“Sinn Féin will continue to work with the Western Trust, support groups and families to ensure that the services available to them are efficient and that they receive the necessary support.

“I welcome the fact that the Trust have agreed to hold a follow-up meetings to monitor how they can improve their service delivery.”