Urgent Government action needed on autism assessments

02 April 2024

Labour’s Health Spokesperson Duncan Smith TD has today on World Autism Awareness Day has called on Government to implement a National Autism Strategy and address the excessive waiting periods for autism assessment services.

Deputy Smith said

“The current waiting times for autism assessments are nothing short of a national scandal. Early intervention is paramount for children with autism, and these delays are unacceptable. Families are left in limbo, unable to access the support and services their children desperately need.

“The increased cost of living is already crippling many families, and those with a child with autism or a disability face even greater financial pressure. The current approach is deeply inequitable, as families who can afford it turn to the private sector for assessments and support. This cannot continue. Government must prioritise providing fair and timely assessments for all children, regardless of their financial situation.

“Following Labour’s Dáil motion last year, Government promised action but failed to deliver. Lip-service is not enough. Families need tangible support, and they need it now.

“It is time for the Government to implement a National Autism Strategy, bringing Ireland in line with other European countries. We cannot continue to fail our children and their families. Every child deserves equal access to support and services, and it is the Government’s responsibility to make this a reality.”

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