Abandonment of children with disabilities

Sean Crowe

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that the abandonment of children with disabilities by Government and their doublespeak to hide the fact is immoral, saying that all the sleight of hand by the Government and HSE will not change the reality of thousands of children on waiting lists for therapy.
Speaking in the Dáil recently during a Sinn Féin PMB on Assessment of Need services for Children, Teachta Crowe said: “The Government has all but abandoned its responsibilities for children with disabilities. It will not even publish how badly it is failing to meet the crisis. It uses doublespeak to hide how badly it is doing. It shuffles children around and puts them in different categories to make it look like progress is being made. It is dishonest and deceptive.
“The way we are warehousing these children instead of investing in services and getting them the therapies and assessments they need is immoral. “All the sleight of hand by the Government and HSE will not change the reality of 8,000 children on speech and language waiting lists, 9,000 waiting on psychology and 18,000 waiting on occupational therapy. We are failing these children and causing them long-term harm.
“The Government must fulfil its obligations under the Disability Act and we cannot have families being forced into taking legal action so their children can get an assessment or access to care. We cannot deny vulnerable children their rights any longer. “Without an assessment or early intervention, the quality of life for a child with additional needs regresses. There is no early intervention in this State, not when waiting lists for urgent interventions by school age teams take long months or even years.
“We are making the lives of families a misery by forcing them into legal action or to pay for costly private assessments, just to try to get their child on a waiting list for care. What has been the Government’s response to assessment waiting lists? It has slashed the time that a child gets in an assessment, when he or she finally gets that far. All a child gets now is 90 minutes, when it used to be 29 hours. We are short 400 key staff across the disability teams.
“A Minister stood in the Dáil in October and told us that not one child in my area of CHO 7 was waiting for an assessment of need. The HSE told me at Christmas, only a few months later, that 1,800 children had not even reached stage 1 of the process in CHO 7. That is another example of the doublespeak from the Government.”

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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