December 1, 2022
Government must address failure to provide disability and special needs services for children and young people – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, raised the failure of the government to provide critical disability and special needs services to children and young people in the Dáil today.

The Donegal TD cited the case of nine-year-old Harry from Dublin who, like so many children, is being denied critical interventions as a result of government failure and red tape.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Across the state children and young people with disabilities and special needs are being failed.

“Vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy are not being provided.

“These are life-change interventions that are essential if our children are to reach their full potential, to thrive and participate in their communities.

“Harry Kirwan from Dublin is nine years old.

“Harry has cerebral palsy and a mild to moderate intellectual disability.

“Last year he underwent serious hip surgery.

“In order to be able to stand and walk again he needs physiotherapy.

“Though physiotherapy is available in his school, Harry cannot access this service.

“This is because his school is located in a different HSE CHO area than his home address.

“There are six children currently being denied services in this school because of this bureaucratic madness.

“As a result, Harry has received no state supported physiotherapy post surgery.

“Across the state there are thousands more – this is nothing sort of a scandal.

“Parents are telling us that the situation on the ground is worse now than ever before and action is needed.

“The government must ensure that we have therapists on the ground in every CHO area to provide the vital services that so many children, such as Harry, deserve and so desperately need.”

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