The decision to establish the Centre was formally recognised at the North-South Ministerial Council meeting on 11 April 2002, when it noted and endorsed the agreement which had been reached between the Department of Education (DE) and the Department of Education and Science (DES) to establish, on a North-South basis, an all island Centre of Excellence for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Middletown, Co. Armagh.
The basis for the cooperation between DE and DES emanated from the inaugural meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council on 13 December 1999. This decision arose out of the detailed work and recommendations contained in two reports commissioned by the Department of Education, Northern Ireland and the Department of Education and Science, Ireland. The Report of the Task Group on Autism and The Report of the Task Force on Autism highlighted the need to:
and resulted in a joint Government approach and policy decision to establish Middletown Centre for Autism.
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