Special Needs Children Facing Long Delays in Chamber House - Crowe
- Seán Crowe PQ reply (246 KB)
In a recent reply from the Health Service Executive Deputy Crowe was informed that the current waiting time to access the Early Intervention Team in Chamber House 5 months while the waiting time to access the School Age Team is 33 months.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
"After being approached by numerous parents about long waiting lists for their children in Chamber House, I decided to put a parliamentary question down to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Health Service Executive on what was causing the delays in getting their children support.
"The HSE is saying it is pursuing matters with a view to securing increased therapist posts and the filling of vacant posts to reduce the waiting time.
"The HSE have also informed me that the current waiting time to access the Early Intervention Team in Chamber House is 5 months while the waiting time to access the School Age Team is 33 months.
"This is totally unacceptable and highlights again the wide gaps in actual services for children with special and particular needs.
"Early intervention and supports are vital to anyone individual experiencing difficulties but for vulnerable children in their formative years it is vital. The longer the delay the harder it is for the child to catch up with their peers.
"Unfortunately the reality is that for many children trying to access vital supports in the Tallaght based and HSE run Chamber House the list has been getting longer and longer.
"The first hurdle for any family with children needing extra supports for their struggling children is get an assessment and that is first of many long delays. Some resort to an expensive private assessment but that is not available to a lot of families.
"Many parents have said to me that they thought that by getting their child referred to Chamber House for supports that it was the end of their battle, but sadly many of those referrals were simply going nowhere as the staff are not in place.
"Children with poor motor skills speech and language difficulties, social interaction, making friends, managing feelings or even learning new tasks and requiring Speech and Language Supports, Clinical Psychologists and Occupational Therapists are being left hanging in mid-air, without the supports they are entitled to and should have access.
"The staffing problems in Chamber House are impacting on the vulnerable children between the ages 5 -18 years in our communities. What is particularly annoying for these families is that no one from the HSE told them there was a shortage of staff and effectively their individual son or daughters case file was going nowhere.
"I now intend to contact the Minister of State with responsibilities for Disabilities Finian McGrath about this situation. This gap in supports for vulnerable children cannot be allowed to continue."