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Autism: Children

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Conservative, Charnwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support his Department provides for servicemen and women's children who have an autism diagnosis.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Within the UK, responsibility for Service children with an autism diagnosis rests with the statutory authorities. Where appropriate, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Directorate for Children and Young People provides additional support. This includes detailed information, advice and support to Service parents through the MOD's Children's Education Advisory Service; and the MOD's Education Support Fund has provided additional resources in situations where a Service child with an autism diagnosis might otherwise suffer disadvantage through Service mobility or parental deployment. For those eligible for the MOD's Continuity of Education Allowance, an addition to that allowance is available to those with an autism diagnosis.

For Service families based overseas the MOD acts in lieu of a local authority to provide support. Service families are not assigned to an overseas location without an assessment of whether any significant health, welfare or education needs (including autism) can be properly supported. MOD schools overseas have access to trained individuals (including educational psychologists) and training resources to allow schools to support children with autism; and to provide training to parents where practicable. Additional support is also provided for children returning to the United Kingdom, to assure a smooth transition back to local authority responsibility.

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