NI's Autism Bill to go through Assembly

NI's Autism Bill to go through Assembly

Services for people with autism in Northern Ireland are to be reformed to ensure that autistic people are included in disability legislation and their families are provided with support.

The Autism Bill, which will be piloted through the Assembly by SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley, aims to give legal recognition of the need for cross-departmental planning and buy-in, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Northern Ireland's government wants to assure families that it recognises the lifelong commitment that accompanies autism spectrum disorders, said the minister.

"[The bill] recognises that ASD is a shared responsibility within our community and that duplication and confusion can be addressed," the newspaper reports him as saying.

"It should help ensure that life transitions, uniquely distressing for individuals with autism, can be better planned, resourced, and managed."

Last month, member of the Scottish parliament Hugh O'Donnell gave evidence on the case for his proposed Autism Scotland Bill, which has the backing of the National Autistic Society.

Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.