Cyprus Mail

Cabinet approves creation of a national autism committee

Υφυπουργός Κοινωνικής Πρόνοιας –
File photo: Deputy social welfare minister Anastasia Anthousi

The cabinet has approved the creation of a national autism committee, the deputy ministry for social welfare announced on Wednesday.

A written statement explained that the decision was taken during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, granting a request by social welfare deputy minister Anastasia Anthousi.

The autism committee would be responsible for studying the existing situation and recording gaps and deficiencies towards the submission of a proposal for a national strategy for autism and the preparation of a strategic plan for the implementation of specific actions.

“The increase in the percentage of people diagnosed with autism in Cyprus and worldwide calls for measures to be taken to ensure the provision of high-quality services and support to people on the autism spectrum,” the statement said.

The aim is for people with autism, both in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, to have all the tools at their disposal for a healthy and productive life in the community and to enjoy a dignified standard of living with maximum independence, it added.

The national strategy would develop an eight-part plan focused on covering the full range of needs of people across the autism spectrum, including early diagnosis and providing appropriate support for full social participation.

The committee will include representatives from the ministries of labour, health, education, transport, finance, and the deputy ministry of social.

At the same time, it was decided to set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by Anthousi, which will monitor the implementation of the national strategy and provide the required political guidance, where deemed necessary.

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