Weir visits Middletown Centre for Autism

Date published: 03 August 2016

Education Minister, Peter Weir, today visited Middletown Centre for Autism and met parents and children benefitting from the services offered by the centre.

The Middletown Centre for Autism was opened in March 2007 to deliver educational services for children with some of the most complex forms of autism. 

Speaking during the visit the Minister said:

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit the centre today and view at first-hand the excellent work that is being done to support the educational needs of children with autism.  The centre provides intensive educational assessment and learning support to children and young people with complex autism who have been referred by the Education Authority (EA) as well as an extensive programme of training and research for both parents and professionals.  Such support requires close working partnerships between Middletown, the EA and schools and I congratulate the centre on building those relationships.”

During the visit the Minister met with children, parents and staff and had the opportunity to view the centre’s plans for 2016/17.  He said:

“It is clear the positive impact the services provided by the centre are having on pupils, parents and teachers. I would also like to acknowledge the commitment of the staff who work hard to enhance the quality of learning and the quality of living for young people with autism.”

Gary Cooper, Chief Executive Officer at Middletown Centre for Autism said:

“I welcome the Minister’s visit coming so soon after his appointment.  I also welcome the ongoing support shown by the Minister and his Department for the continuing development of our specialist autism services at the centre which are seeking to provide research based support to children, their parents and education professionals. 

“Today’s visit is an indication of the Department’s commitment to meeting the needs of children and young people with autism. The centre’s specialist services are now an integral part of Department of Education’s services, reflecting current research and a transdisciplinary approach to meeting the needs of children and young people with autism across school and home settings.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Middletown Centre for Autism is a joint initiative between the Department of Education and the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic of Ireland with funding provided from the two departments on a 50/50 basis.
  2. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 91279207. Out of hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440, and your call will be returned.
  3. Follow us on Twitter @Education_NI
  4. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.

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