An important debate on Special Educational Needs and Autism will take place on Wednesday 7th March at 3 pm in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster. This promises to be a key debate where parliamentarians of all parties will press the government on how they plan to improve public services for the 535,000 people with autism and the 90,000 children with autism. 

The debate has been initiated by the influential parliamentarian Lee Scott MP for Ilford North. Numbers of autistic children are increasing even in his constituency in Redbridge. Lee Scott is also deeply concerned about the closure of special schools.

The debate was called by Ivan Corea of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK  who has a 11 year old son with ASD. The Corea Family have campaigned long and hard without any funding since 2000. Their idea of marking 2002 as Autism Awareness Year was a huge success with 800 UK organisations supporting the year – it resulted in changes in policy and more funding from the government.

Ivan Corea has welcomed Lee Scott’s debate on Wednesday in parliament. He met with Secretary of State for Education Alan Johnson MP and is pressing for better public services in education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care for all people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Last year he presented Prime Minister Tony Blair with an autism awareness ribbon – the first time a sitting prime minister has ever received one. He has also met David Cameron.

Ivan and Charika Corea are calling on the Prime Minister to initiate a raft of measures in order to help and support parents, carers and people with autism – MPs are scheduled to support their call. 

The Autism Awareness Campaign UK have called on the Government to undertake a 10 year program of building specialist autism schools, building autism units in mainstream primary and secondary schools, tackle the failure of some secondary schools in bringing in educational strategies to deal with autistic children in a mainstream setting, tackle the whole question of bullying and autistic children, the provision of respite care, osteopathy and recreational activities for autistic children are among the issues they wish the Prime Minister to address before he leaves office.

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