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1. What are your party's proposals for education of those with special needs and behavioural problems including appropriate training for teachers?
The need for early identification and intervention in order to deal with special needs is something Plaid Cymru has repeatedly emphasised both at Westminster and within the National Assembly since devolution. There can be no doubt about the value and cost-efficiency of adequate investment during this stage. The status of teachers and units which provide for pupils with special needs and behavioural problems Emotionally and Behaviourally Disturbed must be raised. In addition, curricular needs should be implemented in a flexible way in order to meet the therapeutic requirements of these students.
2. What would your party do about the 18 month to 2 year waiting list for initial appointments for potential adult and many child ADD/ADHD sufferers?
First and foremost, this is a problem of capacity. We would target investment to increase numbers of consultant child psychiatrists and specialised child psychologists. These also need to be supported by other community mental health staff.
3. I think many people would agree that medication is not the only answer for conditions like ADHD but there are little or no provisions or resources available on the NHS for support and aftercare for children or adults. What would your party do about this issue?
Yes, we agree with the statement - as outlined above there is a need to build the capacity to ensure that the human resources in the form of specialist child psychiatrists and psychologists are available to provide continued and thorough support.
4. A number of reports have indicated that between 60% and 80% of crime may be committed by those suffering with conditions like ADHD. Would your party support and fund resources for early detection of ADHD in Primary and Junior schools and also facilities to assess young offenders?
Yes, as indicated in response to question 1 we believe that investment aimed at early detection has significant long-term benefits. There needs to be a longer term perspective to these issues than is currently being demonstrated.
Gareth Jones, AM Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister
Simon Hensby - adders.org
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