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(Ireland) 'Autism Acceptance' campaign while children on wait list for diagnoses

April 2, 2021, Connaught Telegraph: Mayo call for greater autism supports and services https://www.con-telegraph.ie/2021/04/02/mayo-call-for-greater-autism-supports-and-services/

A Mayo TD has given full support to AsIAm’s ‘Say Yes to Autism Acceptance’ campaign that will run throughout the month of April. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh stated: “Today on World Autism Awareness Day and through AsIAm’s ‘Say Yes to Autism Acceptance’ campaign during the month of April, there is an important opportunity to highlight the many barriers that people with autism face on a regular basis and which need to be changed. “We have an opportunity to break down barriers and create a greater understanding of autism, as well as the challenges people with autism and their families face…. "Two years ago, the Dáil backed Sinn Féin’s proposals for an Autism Strategy and a specific Autism Committee in the Oireachtas. "However, the government has still not acted on this. “Sinn Féin will continue to press the Government on this and ensure that people with autism get the services and supports they should be entitled to. There can be no more delays. “Autistic adults face huge gaps in the provision of crucial services, particularly in finding work, securing social welfare or living independently. “Children face lengthy waiting times for assessment and struggle to locate appropriate school places…. “While there is a legal requirement to carry out an Assessment of Need within six months, the average waiting time, as of July 2020, was 19 months. "Up to 5,000 children were waiting longer than the law permits for an assessment…. "There is no statutory timeframe of access to the supports, services or therapies stipulated as needed within the assessment. “Recently, RTÉ Investigates lifted the lid on the scandal of how the Department of Health has been collecting secret dossiers on the families of children with autism who had taken legal cases against the government…. The Minister made the announcement at AsIAm's World Autism Day webinar….