More support needed says Cunningham

IN Autism awareness month and in response to calls from parents within the local community, Ballycastle councillor Dónal Cunningham (SDLP) has called for more support for people with Autism, their families and their carers.

Councillor Cunningham said: “From a Moyle point of view we need to ensure that people with autism, their families and carers will have access to the services they require throughout the course of their lives. Everything should be done to enable people with Autism to be valued members of our community.

“We need to see an increase in public knowledge and understanding of this invisible disability.”

The Autism Act 2011 which evolved from a Bill sponsored by SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley provided the foundations for a cross departmental strategy and Action Plan which were published in December 2012.

Added the councillor: “In Moyle we need to work closely with parents, professionals, and the individual person with Autism to ensure the Action plan is fully implemented in our area. We can no longer accept the fragmented planning and short term funding approach. We need to see evidence of government departments planning holistically and realistically for future need.”