Offaly School Age Team has 38 month waiting List for psychological appointments and assessments

Offaly Express Reporter

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Students should not be forced to pay for the mistakes of the past

Carol Nolan TD

Commenting on a parliamentary question response from the HSE, which shows that children in Offaly are currently waiting for 38 months for appointments and assessments with the school age psychology service, Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan has said that the figures are an absolute disgrace.

Teachta Nolan said, “The fact that vulnerable children are waiting for over three years for appointments and assessments with local psychologist services is an absolute disgrace. This clearly illustrates the impact of the ongoing lack of appropriate investment in our front line health services."

She stated that the fact that young children are waiting sixteen months for early intervention is 'completely unacceptable' and must be addressed immediately.

“Children with intellectual disabilities rely on prompt assessment in order to access the supports they need to achieve the best possible quality of life. The Disability Act 2005 legally requires the HSE to carry out an assessment of need for children who may have a disability within a six month time frame."

Deputy Nolan said this was clearly not happening and she noted that a local parents’ group, the Laois and Offaly Families For Autism had been campaigning tirelessly to highlight this issue.

“I have raised concerns on this matter in the Dáil on a number of occasions and will continue to do so. I have also requested a meeting with the Minister of State for Disabilities in order to discuss this issue and I await his response,” she concluded.