7176 children waiting for over one year for Early Intervention and School Age Disability Services – Nolan
Sinn Féin TD for Offaly and North Tipperary, Teachta Carol Nolan, has today highlighted the fact that 7,176 children across the state are waiting for over one year for assessment or therapy under early intervention and school age disability services.
Teachta Nolan received the figures from the HSE in response to her parliamentary question on the issue.
Teachta Nolan said:
“The Programme for Government has a clear commitment to improve the capacity of early intervention, yet the figures released by the HSE show clearly that disability services for children are not equipped to deal with the demand for services.
“Under the Disability Act 2005, children are entitled to an assessment of need within 6 months of receipt of application by the HSE.
“The fact that over 7,000 children are waiting for over one year for initial assessment or therapy for speech and language, psychological assessment and occupational therapy services shows clearly that significant investment is required.
“I am aware that, in many areas the Early Intervention Teams and School Network Teams as envisaged under the Progressing Disability Services Programme have not even been established.
“In my own county of Offaly, the clinical psychologist post has been vacant since August of last year and the waiting time for so called early intervention is 17 months.
“921 children are on the waiting lists for disability services in the HSE area covering North Offaly.
“I am calling on the Government to immediately ensure that all vacancies in early intervention and school age disability teams are filled and that full teams are put in place around the state as soon as possible.”