February 7, 2020
Mullan supports Autism training for teaching staff

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan today supported a motion calling for mandatory autism training for teachers and classroom assistants.

Speaking in the Assembly today, the party’s Education Spokesperson said:

“One in 30 children in the north have a diagnosis of autism, the majority of which are educated in a mainstream school. This shows the need for autism training.

“Our teaching staff want to be supported to provide the best education and care to our young people. They need to be equipped with the skills to do so.

“The role of the teacher is evolving; they are increasingly working with children with complex needs so the introduction of training will be beneficial to their work and the needs of the child. 

“Today’s motion is only the start; parents and young people need action and our teaching staff need action.

“It’s almost 10 years since the introduction of the Autism Act yet we continue to see increased number of children and young people waiting years on diagnosis and support services. 

“I am calling on the Minister for Education to acknowledge the crisis within special educational needs provision and the fact that teachers are actively seeking this training.” 

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