Ringsend and District Autism Support Group

Image: courtesy of Ringsend and District Autism Support Group

Shay Connolly

Ringsend and District Autism Support Group held their first meeting in RICC on Wed, 1st July last. The Group was set up to offer support and for information sharing for parents who are struggling with the everyday problems that they experience, from diagnosis to school placements, access to speech and occupational therapy and many other issues.

One of the first issues is to try and establish just how many children are officially on the spectrum in this Constituency of Dublin Bay South. Many parents are on huge waiting lists to have their child assessed and they cannot be entered on to the HSE list until that assessment takes place. This leaves the official figures way down on the probable true figures for this Constituency.

Many people are forced to go private to access these basic services and it can cost up to €2,000 to have your child assessed. This Constituency has the worst services in this field in the entire country.

Chris Andrews TD who attended the meeting has put a question down to the new Minister for Education and The HSE as to the official numbers for this constituency and age breakdown of same. Jim O’Callaghan TD sent his regrets to the meeting and will also assist in any way he can. Former Senator Maire Devine also attended and offered invaluable advice from her many years involved in this area.

The next meeting will take place in RICC on Wed, 22nd July at 7.30pm. Parents affected in this area are very welcome to attend. We would also make a plea for volunteers in the area to become involved, as the free time that these parents have is very limited, such is the care they have to deliver.

Please visit Facebook Ringsend Autism Support Group for more info. Many thanks to Lorraine and her staff in RICC for providing the facility