Intolerable waiting game for Irish schoolkids’ Autism assessments
By Evan Treacy
In today’s world everyone has come in contact with someone who has been affected by autism or has known someone with autism. Some cases of autism can be severe and some can be barely noticeable, but no matter what level of autism these children might have they should not be left unattended or undiagnosed. If the children are not assessed in time they face a world of disadvantage when they proceed through Ireland’s education system.
I spoke to one mother whose child has been waiting for an assessment for which she will also have to borrow money to get it done. From the start to the end of my conversation with her it was clear that she is suffering from this emotionally as she does not know when her child will be assessed or even if it will ever happen before he makes the transition into secondary school. If this assessment is not carried out in good time, he cannot be placed in a class where he will get the support he needs. From the day of publishing the first article on this matter I have had no response by any Government representative who would be responsible in various departments. This lack of engagement is something I hope will change soon.
Another big issue affecting the parents of these children is a lack of spaces in these ASD classes. Tusla is not fulfilling its role in ensuring students on the autism spectrum receive their education. 91% of families affected by this issue are receiving no support from the Child and Family Agency. This lack of care by the Government and governing bodies is appalling and should not continue. I will be making contact with various TD’s and councillors over the next few weeks and will be getting answers. If you have any questions or would like to voice your opinion get in contact through email at firstname.lastname@example.org