National Review of Autism Services

This national review outlines the historical background, current models that exist, the gaps in service provision and the need for a consistent clear pathway for individuals to access services in the least restrictive way. The report highlights the imperative for a clear focus on the individual and their family in ensuring that the needs of the individual remain at the centre of service provision.

Geographically, current services can vary from robust, comprehensive and integrative to isolated, patchy and ineffective. Moreover differing models and approaches to the provision of health services are evident across Local Health Office (LHO) areas and HSE Areas. Future provision of services for children and adults with ASD must be in line with the Government’s commitment to mainstreaming where people with a disability have access to the same services as the general population, and in addition receive the appropriate support and intervention to address individual needs. The recommendations of this report will be implemented as highlighted through the reconfiguration of existing provision; Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People (0-18s); Time to Move on from Congregated Settings; and the New Directions-Personal Support Services for Adults with Disabilitiesand the Respite/Residential Care with Host Families in Community Settings. Given the current economic climate with reducing resources in the public sector all such reconfiguration will be progress as appropriate within available resources. This integrated approach to meeting the health needs of people with disabilities is designed to ensure that generic health needs, which can be met at primary care level, are addressed by primary care teams and that only needs, where specialist knowledge, skill or expertise is required are referred to specialist services.