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(Ireland) Govt official slams 2-3 yr wait for ASD/ADHD; 'outrageous'

June 25, 2024, Ireland Live: Deputy McGuinness hits out at ongoing 'scandal' in Kilkenny

Deputy John McGuinness has criticised the level of funding being provided to SOS Kilkenny and has also highlighted the persistent issue of long waiting lists for children seeking mental health assessments.

 “The State and the Government will be judged by how they treat the most marginalised and the weakest in society,” he said in the Dáil.

“We have here a scandal that is not being addressed adequately and efficiently.

“I ask the Minister of State to look at SOS Kilkenny, a provider of services for people with intellectual disability and autism which has been underfunded to the tune of millions for some years.

“It has made a case to the Department and nothing has happened. There has been review after review.”McGuinness also took aim at the waiting lists for assessments, stating that children have been waiting for assessments ‘for far too long’.

“Families who have asked for assessment have been told they will wait for two years,” he said.

 “Any child who requires an assessment for autism, ADHD and so on needs it as soon as possible.

“The services need to be put in place to deal with the issues that arise from those assessments and that is not happening.

“Telling a family they have to wait two to three years is outrageous. It is a scandal and we should be doing something far more positive, even if it means buying in expertise from outside the State.”

McGuinness then raised the case of a family in Kilkenny where three children have autism, two of the children have some services, one child has not been assessed fully and another has no services at all.

“Why is that happening? Why is there not some sort form of common-sense approach that would deal with the three children, ease the burden on the family and assist them with all of the services required?

“Not enough is being done to reduce waiting lists, deliver the services required and reach out to families in daily trauma having to deal with one, three or four children with autism.

“That can ruin family life because there can be violence in some cases and parents are unable to cope with the level of care they have to give to these children.

“There is no continuity of services for families with a child or children with autism. There is a queue to see a child psychologist. There is a real problem.”



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