Rhondda AM Leanne Wood has backed a bill that would promise to deliver greater protection for families living with autism, their families and their carers.
Ms Wood has spoken in favour of a Private Members’ bill which would deliver on a manifesto pledge from the 2016 Plaid Cymru Assembly election manifesto to introduce legislation that would promote the rights of people with autism.
In recent months, Ms Wood has received many accounts from parents of children with autism. Many of them spoke of long delays in diagnosis and a lack of support in the mainstream school system for their children.
As part of the debate, the Plaid Cymru Leader said: “There are continuing gaps in provision, as there are with so many other conditions. So we want the legislation to lead lead to improved services.
“The symbolism of legislation is also important. Legislating on this would send a message about our priorities as a country.
“It would signal to parents, families and carers that people with autism matter, and that we will recognise and protect their rights.
Approving this proposal would be an endorsement of such a statement of the Assembly. It must be followed through as well.
“For too long people on the autism spectrum have been prevented from living their lives to the full. By backing this legislation, we will be taking one small step towards a society where everyone has true equality of opportunity.”