June 14, 2021, County Carlow Nationalist: Parents of Autistic Children are Tired of Waiting for Services https://carlow-nationalist.ie/2021/06/14/parents-of-autistic-children-are-tired-waiting-for-services/?fbclid=IwAR2rr-2OWXqHIAHbgIlIYJlA7tJXnm-v5gpbSKk_5xGrGQBb9oEdG84O9xM
WIDESPREAD fatigue is felt by huge swathes of parents and guardians of autistic children in attempting to secure adequate care for their kids, according to a new report published today by Ireland’s national autism charity AsIAm. The report is a quantitative analysis capturing the experiences and opinions of the many families in Ireland who have an autistic child and seeks to capture the voices of the autism community in accessing support and services from the HSE. While AsIAm received considerable engagement with this study – with 454 responses to an online questionnaire – they point out that these findings are only a snapshot of a problem on a much larger scale. Every Child Counts exclusively focuses on experiences with public healthcare access, support and services and is a first such survey for AsIAm’s Community Support Team. Key findings include: two-thirds of parents and guardians surveyed have had to wait two years or more to receive an autism diagnosis for their child. Over half felt very dissatisfied with the HSE support services for their autistic children. Almost four in five said that they were not in receipt of any support from either the Early Intervention or School Age-Going Teams. Seven in ten felt broadly dissatisfied with the HSE’s support in helping them better understand their child’s autism diagnosis…. Commenting on the campaign, CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris said: “We hope that this report will shed light on the numerous obstacles that members of Ireland’s autistic community face while engaging with one of the most crucial public services. Many of these are systemic in nature, from lengthy waiting periods for assessments to navigating layers of red tape and a fundamental lack of understanding about autism as a spectrum,” he said. “As we come out of the pandemic, it must be a political priority to not simply address backlogs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic or recent cyberattack, but to comprehensively invest in and reform the supports available to autistic children to ensure every child receives the right support at the right time….