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(Ireland) 13yo protesting years long waiting lists for ASD assessments

June 19, 2024, Newstalk: Children with autism are ‘rotting on waiting lists’ in Ireland—Cara Darmody 

Children are being left “rotting on waiting lists” in Ireland and it’s a “national disgrace,” according to a 13-year-old autism campaigner.

Cara Darmody from Tipperary has decided enough is enough and began a protest outside Leinster House yesterday, which she promises to continue every week until her demands are met.

She is calling on the Government to speed up autism assessments in Ireland and met with Taoiseach Simon Harris to discuss the issue.

On Newstalk Breakfast, Cara said her family has been affected by autism.

“I’d like to clarify that I’m not actually autistic myself, but I do have two severely autistic brothers,” she said.

“Neil is 11 and John is 7 and it’s devastating, but I’m not doing this for myself, my own family, or even my brothers.

“I’m doing this solely with the aim of helping the 20,000 kids who are on the HSE waiting list [for an assessment] and for the families that can’t fight back themselves.

“I have to fight for what's right and everyone agrees with me on this as well.”

Autism assessments

The 13-year-old said the delays in autism assessments are wrong.

“The Assessment of Need law is a law stating that any kid who applies for an assessment must be assessed within six months of their application,” she said.

“But in nearly every single case in Ireland, that is not happening because these kids have to wait years for assessments.”


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