Learning & Behavioural Disabilities: Supporting Needs to Improve Lives

People with Intellectual Disabilities: Promoting Health, Addressing Inequality

Dr Laurence Taggart and Dr Wendy Cousins (Ulster) There are approximately 32,600 people with intellectual disabilities (also known as ‘learning disabilities’) living in Northern Ireland. This is a higher proportion of our population than other regions in the United Kingdom. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) recognises that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability; yet a growing body of evidence highlights significant inequality in health care provision for this vulnerable group. The recent Confidential Inquiry Report into

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Early intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comparing international policies with developments in Northern Ireland

Prof Karola Dillenburger (QUB) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects about 2% of school children (approximately 5000 in Northern Ireland; Megaw, 2013). ASD is a pervasive neurodevelopmental condition with problems in building social relationships and very restricted interests When these children enter the labour market, only 15% of them find employment; a great loss to them and to society (Rosenblatt, 2008). The cost of autism per lifetime is estimated £2.7 billion per each year in the United Kingdom, and can rise to £1.23million per lifetime (Knapp et al 2009). There is strong, statistically significant evidence that early intensive behavioural-analytically based interventions

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Parent training in evidence-based practice for Autism

Dr Stephen Gallagher (Ulster) Despite the rising numbers of children being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the fact that it is parents who carry the greatest burden of caring for their children, there has been little investment in effective parent training. There is an urgent need for parents to learn practical skills that they can implement in their own home to improve quality of life for their child and family. It is generally acknowledged that early intervention is essential in addressing the needs of children with ASD. Given limited resources (i.e. suitably qualified professionals) and costs, it makes

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