HC Deb 07 May 1970 vol 801 c570
39. Mr. Tom Boardman

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what provision for specialised education is planned for autistic children from the City of Leicester.

Miss Bacon

I am informed that the Leicester Education Authority has set-up a small pilot unit for the young autistic children under the aegis of the Child Guidance Service. A diagnostic unit is planned for assessing the educational needs of autistic and other mentally handicapped and severely disturbed children, and further educational provision will be planned in the light of experience gained from these two units.

Mr. Boardman

Is the right hon. Lady aware that there are more autistic children than there are children born blind and deaf? Will the Government give this group of children maximum priority to give them the support needed so that they have an opportunity in life and to take some of the troubles and cares away from parents who are so hard-pressed in looking after them?

Miss Bacon

Yes, that is precisely what we are doing. The hon. Gentleman might be interested to know that my right hon. Friend visited an autistic unit only yesterday.