Armstrong says more needs done to reduce autism waiting times

Alliance Councillor Kellie Armstrong has said while she welcomes the Health Minister’s investment in autism services, more needs done to reduce waiting times.

The Alliance Strangford Assembly candidate was speaking after Simon Hamilton announced £2 million per year would be put into the area in a bid to improve access to support services. Councillor Armstrong will tomorrow (Monday) bring a petition with over 8,000 signatures to the steps of Stormont saying both the health and education departments have failed to deliver the appropriate care for those with autism.

“Whilst £2 million going towards autism services can only be welcomed, the reality is it’s only a start. There is nothing in the Minister’s announcement about creating a more joined-up approach to working with the Department of Education to enable earlier intervention and an appropriate multi-agency approach.

“Until we see the Autism Act enacted and waiting times dramatically reduced, then £2 million is just a figure. Children with autism and other learning difficulties are still being consistently failed and no longer should we let it continue.

“To date, over 8,000 people have signed my petition. Those people realise their voices are finally being heard. Therefore tomorrow’s protest and handing over of the petition will still take place, as we need more commitments from the relevant Ministers.”

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