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Over 180 kids awaiting autism assessment
[Posted: Mon 03/02/2003 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
Over 180 children in the Eastern region are currently waiting to be assessed for autism, largely due to staff shortages in key areas such as speech and language therapy, the Department of Health has said.
According to figures from the department, there are currently 1,525 children diagnosed with autism throughout the country. However 184 children are currently awaiting assessment in the Eastern Regional Health Authority region.
"Many health boards and specialist service providers have been experiencing difficulties in recruiting allied health professionals, in particular speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists. This is due primarily to the general shortage of available staff in these grades nationally", the department said.
Health boards and agencies are continuing to undertake 'intensive recruitment drives' at home and abroad, it added.
Of the 1,525 children diagnosed with autism, 358 live in the ERHA region. The number of children with autism in the rest of the country's health boards are:
Figures for the number of adults with autism were not available.
|Anonymous Posted: 16/06/2005 20:34|
|Hi all, I know the waiting lists look totally awful! I am a professional who works as part of a multi-disciplinary team that diagnoses and works with children with autism. Just a message to all anxious parents out there. I can understand that you are under ferocious stress waiting for your child to be diagnosed, but I ask you, for the sake of Autism services, not to blame people working on the ground for the lists. The lack of staff comes from up above our heads and we are all working hard to get your children seen ASAP, as well as trying to see the children on our current caseload. Staff on the ground have very little say in recruiting more staff, and overloading pofessionals working directly with the children with blame will inevitably lead to burn out and further staffing difficulties. Within therapy professionals there is a culture for choosing not to work within Autism Services because people hear bad press and feel that they would not wish to stay in such a politically pressurised job, thus making it even harder to recruit staff. I personally love working with children with Autism. They have a special way of viewing the world that I find fascinating, so I ask you please to help professionals like myself in encouraging other staff to work in this area, and to try to send out a positive message about working with children with ASD. I would also like to state that, rather than going for a private uni-disciplinary diagnostic assessment, that you should hold out for a multi-disciplinary one.Any parent I have spoken to felt that, after our team assessment, that the private one they paid for earlier was simply a piece of paper wityh 'Autism' written on it that cost €600, that it did not help them in understanding their child with ASD.|
|Holly Posted: 21/02/2006 22:17|
|What's the first thing I do if I suspect that my three and a half year old may have Autism or Asperger's?|
|footbelly Posted: 02/03/2009 18:52|
Everybody knows how understaffed and underfinanced the public health sector is in this country and without sounding unsypmpathetic to the people working in this area, as a parent at the moment at my wits end with my 8 year olds sons plight i frankly couldnt care less at the moment. My son has been seen by a nebs psychologist and been referred onto the kerry adolescent services and been referred on once again to the kerry autistic service and have been in limbo since. i am highly frustrated as all the psychologists that have seen my son (and my own gp)-all agree that he desperately needs to be seen by the autistic group and letters, phonecalls etc have been forwarded onto them...i have still been told nothing can be done and he just has to wait his turn. today he was suspended from his school because he hit his sna. when i rang the autistic group today i was told it was the school's responsibility to contact the psychologist that originally saw him and that i myself can tell my doctor to prescribe drugs for him...i was furious, how can a doctor prescribe medication when no definite diagnosis has been given? the school he is attending is constantly ringing me to ask me to contact them or my doctor to contact the autistic group(he has, 3 letters) adding to an already very stressful situation.
|purple Posted: 02/03/2009 23:03|
i totally agree with you. my son was diagonised at 14. it took a while to have his assessed and today he sees a brilliant doctor that helps him. yes you need a GP letter for referal. my GP was so good to us. my son he had a very bad experience, and he wanted to kill himself, dont mean to frighted you, so i got our GP to get him help. he is being assessd every month. hope you get help soon, fight for it.
|footbelly Posted: 03/03/2009 13:16|
hi ya purple...my son has already been through the 'correct channels'..he was referred by a clinic in tralee to the autistic group and i received a letter from that group saying he was on a waiting list. i got a phonecall this morn from their social worker (should have heard from her months ago..i.e request from my gp) to tell me to contact my doctor to get him to refer him again to the child and adolescent mental health services!!! maybe there was another cause for his behaviour!!! the clinic were the ones who told me they believed he had aspergers and were aware of his explosive temper and actually warned me that i wasnt to leave him alone with his baby sister because of his temper!! When i rang them last year they told me my son had been discharged from their care and in future to contact the autistic group...omg talk bout goin round in circles...it just seems they all want to pass the buck. i just want him seen and obtain that holy grail...the definite diagnosis!!! then he can be medicated (which i feel in my heart he needs) and maybe go to another school that is better equiped to deal with him!! may i ask you how long were you waiting in total to get def diagnosis?
|purple Posted: 03/03/2009 15:53|
He was diagnosed at 14, it took a few months, i think, but then he had to attend the Mater hosptial, child guidance clinic. He attended for weeks, but then decided himself that he didn't want to go any more as the doctors were different every few weeks, which made him so confused. Also at the age of 18 he was so low I had to ring my GP, got him assessed straight away, since then he is being assessed in the Swords clinic for disability people, also last year i couldn't be left alone with my son as he got so violent with me. People don't knno whats it's like to have this condition in the family, have u got any support from family?
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