South Down DUP Rep Diane Forsythe Welcomes Autism Bill

Autism (Amendment) Bill welcomed by Diane Forsythe

Autism (Amendment) Bill welcomed by Diane Forsythe

The DUP South Down representative in the NI Assembly election, Diane Forsythe, has expressed he delight that the Autism (Amendment) Bill has finally passed through Stormont. Bill.

Diane Forsythe said after meeting with Autism Support Kilkeel: “I am delighted that the Autism (Amendment) Bill has passed. Congratulations to my DUP colleague Pam Cameron for tabling this legislation to make life better for those with Autism.

“The Autism (Amendment) Bill aims to build on and strengthen the Autism Act 2011, the first Autism legislation in Northern Ireland.

(l-r) Autism Support Kilkeel Chairperson Michael Shiels and Irene McConville, Public Relations Officer and Diane Forsythe, DUP representative in South Down.

“Pam’s Bill will build on this previous work to enhance the Autism Strategy, improve consultation and data collection, improve training, improve access to support and services, so those in need will have access to support regardless of their age or the presence of a diagnosis.

“It will also importantly appoint an ‘Autism Reviewer’ to ensure the needs of autistic people are addressed by Government Departments and services.” 

DUP MLA Pam Cameron said: “I want to thank all of those who gave evidence throughout the intensive Committee Stage process for their work in helping to scrutinise and strengthen this Bill to ensure we bring about much needed reform.

“I also want to thank the All-Party Group on Autism and the secretariat of Autism NI for all of their support so far.” 

DUP South Down representative Diane Forsythe said: “This Bill will help bring about real practical change for autistic people and their families across Northern Ireland.”

Also commenting, Michael Shiels, Chairperson of Autism Support Kilkeel, said:  ” This is a great week for families with a child/adult with Autism in Northern Ireland.

“We at Autism Support Kilkeel look forward to the full development and implementation of this ground breaking legislation and look forward to working with our local representitives in strengthening the support available to families.

“Can I take this opportunity to thank Pam Cameron for the introduction of this Bill and all the MLAs for their work in getting it passed.

“Autism Support Kilkeel is a local-based charity that supports over 60 families from the surrounding area, providing parent support, sibling support and therapies for children and young adults with Autism.”