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Autistic Children

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on respite provision for autistic children in Northern Ireland. [116368]

There are no specific respite care services for children with autistic spectrum disorders. Respite services are provided for children with disabilities including residential provision, domiciliary care, host family and fostering services, holiday schemes and day care. The development of respite care services has been included in Priorities for Action 2003–04, and additional funding has been allocated for this purpose. In addition, health and social services boards have been asked to bring forward-costed proposals for enhancing autism services, particularly diagnostic and assessment services.