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HSE must explain to parents the changes to the local Autism Spectrum Disorder Unit – Cullinane

8 August, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has criticised the HSE management in Waterford for failing to properly consult with parents regarding the subsuming of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Unit into local Children's Disability Network Teams. Deputy Cullinane was speaking at a packed meeting he organised on the issue in the Granville Hotel.

Addressing a meeting of concerned parents, Deputy Cullinane said:

“The lack of consultation and engagement with parents of children with autism regarding changes to the ASD Unit is disgraceful. Many parents are genuinely concerned that the ASD Unit is being disbanded and that children with autism will move from a specialised one on one service to a generic service.

“I know many parents see this as a backward step. Last week, I met with the HSE Disability Management Team and they say the changes will enhance services for all children with disabilities. They say the ASD Unit is not being disbanded but subsumed into community based CDNT’s.

“However, parent after parent I have met on this issue see it differently. They are angry that the HSE have not consulted with parents or properly informed them of the changes being put in place. They say the present Early Intervention service is poor and patchy and not working. They cite a lack of consistency regarding therapies and a non-continuation of services when an autistic child reaches six.

“A follow up meeting will take place in Waterford on the first week in September. All local TDs will be invited as well as HSE management. The parents of children have a right to be informed and central to the development of policy in this area.” 

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