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(Ireland) Autistic children treated 'disgracefully'; 3 to 4 year wait for assessment

Jul 28, 2022, Irish Examiner: Autistic children treated 'disgracefully': Tipp girl, 12, meets Taoiseach to seek improved supports https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40928396.html
A 12-year-old primary school student from Cashel, Co Tipperary, met with the Taoiseach on Thursday to urge the government to act urgently on the lack of supports for autistic children in Ireland.

Cara Darmody, who attends Ardfinnan National School, has two younger brothers, Neil and John, who are both non-verbal with autism.

Micheál Martin said it was a great privilege to meet the Tipp campaigner, praising her "powerful and passionate advocacy on behalf of her two younger brothers, and for children with autism and special needs".

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cara said children with autism in Ireland were being treated “disgracefully”, and she planned on telling Taoiseach Micheál Martin the situation needs to be treated as a crisis emergency.

Cara explained it can take three to four years to be assessed for autism in Ireland at present, and it is “almost impossible” for many to access psychiatry, occupational therapy and educational supports….
As Cara said, it needs to be treated like a crisis. And I just feel that it's kind of accepted now that a parent has to wait three to four years [to be assessed] and that cannot be the case anymore.

Mr Darmody said recruitment issues were something that needed to be tackled with priority, followed by issues surrounding diagnosis delays….

Cara Darmody, 12, met with the Taoiseach on Thursday as part of her campaign to improve autism services for her brothers and other children in Ireland who she says are being treated 'disgracefully'. “We will give him a list of different things but to be fair, and I want to be very fair to him. I've heard the Taoiseach speak about this. I don't think that there's any arguments here. I think every politician accepts that as a serious problem. …