Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Noteworthy.Ie, Nui Galway, Research, Still Waiting, Waiting For Therapy

Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder

Three-quarters of children with autism not getting needs met in public system

Some families are going into debt because of their child’s condition – one to the tune of €150,000.

21.2.2020

'Families are under immense pressure' - Some are going into debt because of their child's autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - one to the tune of €150,000

Some families are going into debt because of their child’s condition – one to the tune of €150,000.

“Families are under immense pressure”, said the lead author of the study, Áine Roddy from the J.E. Cairnes School of Economics and Business at NUI Galway. She explained that they often resort to borrowing money to pay for therapies as they “know that best practice is saying children should receive early intervention”.

Unmet needs were defined as those that were not being met through publicly-funded sources. Occupational therapy, social skills training as well as speech and language therapy were all identified as lacking.The study, which is based on a survey carried out five years ago but just published in the journal Health Policy, also found that families with two or more children with ASD were more likely to experience these unmet needs as well as incur debt, than families with one child.

It may be the difference for someone who is severely impacted, that they may be that bit more independent as an adult if they did receive appropriate supports. The study author also acknowledged that some families feel they will get the services once their child is diagnosed but this is often not the case. “Some families wait up to two or three years for an assessment in the public system and are frustrated” as they want help.

In order to address this, Roddy said her first recommendation is to implement the promised National Autism Strategy. She was concerned that only three of the main seven parties promised this in their election manifestos: Fianna Fáil, Social Democrats and Sinn Féin.

Do you want to know if a delay in getting a childhood diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is fuelling a private industry?

Read more: TheJournal.ie

The full paper and supplemental section can be accessed for free from this link My son was diagnosed privately over 5 years ago. To this day he has not seen a occupational therapist or any other service he needs from the state. We have spent thousands in private schools and health care. It is not good enough and our children deserve better. inclusionforall

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