The Government is letting young people with autism and their families down
The Government is letting young people with autism and their families down.
Approximately 270 children are without a school place for this coming September. Many more have been forced to accept a school place that is inappropriate for their needs. Many more are waiting years for assessments and basic interventions.
15,500 children and young people are forced to leave their communities, our communities, to access education because there is nothing to suit their needs within their own catchment area.
The report of the Children’s Ombudsman is clear – the current failures in the system amount to discrimination.
Last year, the Dáil passed our Labour motion to implement an Autism Empowerment Strategy. A year has passed and the Government has not done enough to see it put into place. This Wednesday, at 10.00am, we will debate Labour’s Autism Bill 2022 to create a coherent framework to urgently address the unmet needs of people with autism in our communities.
Our message to the Government is this: There is no time to wait.
From education to health to work we need a national autism strategy that can help people get on and thrive.
I am asking for your help. If you are currently affected by the lack of provision, or if you know someone who is, get in touch. We must band together to send a message that there can be no further can-kicking on this issue of urgent and vital importance. Forward this email to a friend, and let’s use our voices to turn the Government’s words into action.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education; Enterprise and Trade.