Seán Crowe T.D. has called for an emergency budget allocation for children from his constituency who are in some cases having to wait up to 3 years for Speech and Language supports.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Crowe described the current HSE speech and language support system “as broken”.
Deputy Crowe said; “I used the opportunity of Promised Legislation today to familiarise the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with the unacceptable situation that children with a speech impairment are facing, in that they are being told they will have to wait possibly up to 3 years for supports. “The current system is clearly broke and I called for an emergency budget allocation to be awarded to the area to address the long waiting list.
“My office is currently dealing with a number of families of children that need language supports but one particular family who have been waiting since 2015 have now been told that they will have till next year as there are 95 children ahead of their child. “Education Minister Richard Bruton replied on behalf of the Government saying another 19 speech and language therapists for schools across the State were being recruited in a pilot programme, but this will probably have no impact on the children waiting on a growing list in Tallaght’s Chamber House. “I have already put questions to the Health Minister Simon Harris but he referred me on to the HSE who say they have asked for additional resources in 2018, but were refused and are now making a fresh application for 2019.
“In the meantime the importance of early intervention for children with special or particular needs continues to be trotted out as waiting times and mounting lists continue to grow. “This is an appalling way to treat any child with needs and clearly needs an emergency response from the Minister and his Department. “I intend to continue to raise this issue and will be calling on Minister Harris at the next quarterly review to prioritise resources to the Dublin South West area, to deal with the backlog and current needs for children that have a Speech impairment.”