07 Dec 2021

Parents forced to 'battle system ever inch' for autism services says Laois candidate

Autism assessment delays frustrate parents in Limerick

Laois candidate says families impacted by autism are suffering because of delays.

A Laois local election candidate says families in Laois impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are suffering because long waits for services due to assessment delays.

Independent local election candidate Brian Furlong said that he is meeting parents on his Laois County Council election canvass who are their wit's end and nearly burnt out because of having to wait.

“It’s bad enough that parents with a child on the Autism Spectrum are left to feel isolated by the lack of services from the HSE, but they should not have to battle the system every inch of the way to have services for their children such as speech and language therapies, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, play therapy and counselling services," he said.

The candidate in the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District said families are left to rely on voluntary organisations.

“But for voluntary organisations such as the Laois Down Syndrome Association and the Laois Offaly Families For Autism (LOFFA), who subsidise access to private therapies for families who are forced to obtain private therapies for their children, there would be more families in dire circumstances here in Laois waiting on the HSE to provide these services,” he said. 

 Mr Furlong promised to highlight the issue if elected. 

“This is an issue that I have told the parents with children with autism and intellectual disability that I would highlight in an attempt to shine a light on what they are forced to struggle and endure with on a daily basis because of the failure of the system to support their children and their families,” he said.

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