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May 8, 2013
For immediate release

Minister issues new directions for delivery of autism services

Education and Early Childhood Development

Strengthening services and supports to students with autism and their families is the goal of a new directive issued today, says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Alan McIsaac.

“Our educational system is an inclusive one which strives to meet the needs of each individual,” said Minister McIsaac. “That is why we have increased our focus on meeting the specific needs of students with autism.”

The new Directive on Educational Services for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder reflects the values put forward in an action plan which the department made public in June of 2010. It includes a strong commitment to evidence-based practice, establishing qualifications for autism specialists and consultants, and outlines the respective roles and responsibilities of the department, school boards and school staff.

The minister said that providing appropriate services for children with autism is complex, multifaceted and requires thoughtful planning. He said the department is working closely with other Atlantic provinces to disseminate evidence-based standards of practice and undertake training initiatives. It has also implemented an intensive kindergarten support model and released a guide to early years autism services.

“This new directive builds on the wide range of initiatives we have undertaken to strengthen services and supports for children with autism and their families,” said Minister Mcisaac. “I look forward to continuing to work with everyone involved to make those services and supports the very best they can be.”

Media Contact: Laura Steeves
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