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(Ireland) Cork has over 1,000 children waiting for ASD assessment; call for more staff/services

Nov 2, 2018, Cork Evening Echo: Cork parents protest at lack of autism services The HSE has been accused of not listening to parents of autistic children, who say their children are suffering due to a lack of services in Cork. A crowd of parents met yesterday at Chuckies Play Zone in Wilton to discuss their struggle to gain access to much needed autism services in the region. Cork woman Suzanne O’Flynn said children are waiting months or longer for services and some even struggle to get on waiting lists for vital services. … “Our children are being left behind.” Luke has also been denied access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, because he cannot access a multidisciplinary team. “The HSE are just not listening and our children are suffering,” said Suzanne. The latest figures show that the between August 2017 and August 2018, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare received a total of 1,120 referrals for assessment under the Disability Act…. The figures also show that the number of children seeking an ASD assessment has risen by around 100 in two months, from 900 to more than 1,000. … The HSE admitted this represents a significant challenge in terms of their capacity to respond to the need for ASD assessments. Accessing Autism services in Cork is a constant, daily struggle which can span decades, according to Cork woman Tracy Doyle, who has five children, two on the autism spectrum…. As well as increased staff and services, Suzanne said providing training to parents who are new to autism would be a huge help. “We’ll do anything to help our kids but we need more support. “More staff, more services, they’re crucial but if there was classes to help us deal with it, we’d all be there, we’d do anything,” she added.

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