West Tyrone MLA welcomes Autism Bill progress through the Assembly

A LOCAL MLA has welcomed progress on the Autism Bill as it passed the second stage in the Assembly.

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), Sinn Féi's Maolíosa McHugh said: "In my regular meetings families of children and adults with autism once again, the re-occurring message I hear is that ‘early intervention’ is key.

"Families often feel completely alone and have to fight their own corner when it comes to accessing services

“So to this end, I welcome the progress the week made on the Autism Amendment Bill.

"This legislation will assist to advance services to adults and children with autism."

Mr McHugh says that it's important that the long-term autism strategy is shaped by families, carers and people with autism.

"It is a priority that we tackle the long assessment waiting lists so that we can guarantee people have appropriate support at all stages of life," he added.

‘’Much work remains to be done to improve services and support for people with autism in the Western Trust area and I will continue to work for families to help achieve this but this Bill passing through the Assembly can provide a good foundation for the improvement of services across the board.

‘’Sinn Féin will continue to work in the best interests of those with autism, their families and carers’’

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