Autism services must be a priority for budget 2017

Fianna Fáil deputy for Mayo, Lisa Chambers has said that budget 2017 needs to reflect the needs of children with autism and the services they require

“We now know that the numbers of children being diagnosed with autism in this country is higher than originally thought, with 1 in 100 children being diagnosed. This additional demand for services will need to be addressed in budget 2017. As it is parents have to fight for every bit of service they get and it shouldn’t be that way. It is difficult enough having to cope with a diagnosis but to then have to embark on a battle with the HSE is extremely exhausting for parents and the children involved.” says Chambers

“We need to recognise the individual nature of autism and that every child and their needs are different. Clearly we need additional resources for early intervention services to ensure children do actually receive these services at an early stage in their diagnosis, as this is crucial to development. We need to see increased speech and language services, occupational therapy services and better educational supports.” continues Chambers

“I am also of the strong view that parents need support services and should receive guidance post diagnosis. Currently parents are being told their child has autism and are then sent home without any supports to help them deal with this change in their family life.” continues Chambers

“We have a long way to go on this country in terms of dealing with autism and supporting children and families but I hope to see this recognised in the upcoming budget. Equality should be at the heart of the budgetary process and ensuring every child has a fair chance in life has to be any progressive country’s priority.” says Chambers