Laois children suffering 'neglect' due to absence of psychogy service

Some 24 schools in Laois have no access to special services that opens the door for children with special needs

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Brian Stanley TD

Laois Sinn Féin TD hits out at 'neglect' due to lack of psychology service.

A total of 24 schools in Laois do not have access to a psychologist that can make that a huge differance to pupils with special needs.

In response to a recent Dáil Question the Education Minister confirmed that 24 schools across Laois do not currently have access to a National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) psychologist.

Saying he would be asking which schools were left out Laois Sinn Féin TD Deputy Brian Stanley said it amounted to neglect.

“This neglect of children who need additional supports and services is not acceptable and I am demanding that the required resources are provided for children in Laois immediately. The long term effects of this situation will result in delayed development of the children affected and huge additional costs to the State in the long run,” he said.

The TD said an assessment by the NEPS psychologist is the first stage to a child accessing a range of other services, interventions and supports, without which they may not be able to achieve their educational potential.

"The educational assessment is the gateway through which children must pass to access further educational and social supports so any delay in this assessment is intolerable for these kids and their families and causes much unnecessary stress and worry. In addition any delay in assessments may have an impact on the child's teacher and the other children in the class," he said.

Last October Deputy Stanley was informed that the waiting times for psychological services with the School Age Team in Laois is 42 months and with the Early Intervention Team for pre-school children it is 18 months.