Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy voiced his concern regarding the limited amount of Occupational, Speech, and Physiotherapists in Galway and Roscommon for children with Down Syndrome.
The Galway-Roscommon TD said that numerous parents of children with Down Syndrome have contacted his office complaining about long wait times before accessing services.
“Parents have contacted me in great distressm,” Eugene Muphy said, “They are waiting on services which are not forthcoming.”
“In my constituency there is a significant shortage of Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists. Early intervention and therapy services are vital”.
The Fianna Fáil TD condemned the fact that parents have had to resort to paying privately for these services.
“In most case this is a serious financial commitment and one in which great sacrifices are made to fund. This shouldn’t be case.”
“The HSE should have the adequate resources to support all families who require these services,” Deputy Murphy insisted.
Deputy Murphy said that there is an urgent need for more therapists in the region while stressing that if this isn’t provided, parents will feel abandoned by the government while still shouldering the costs themselves.
Murphy requested that the Government consider extending the July provision scheme to all children with Down’s syndrome.
The scheme provides funding for an extended school year for children with a severe or profound general learning disability or children with autism.
The strategy permits an extra month’s education to be provided to a pupil who meets the scheme’s criteria.
Deputy Murphy said he has been approached by numerous parents associated with Down Syndrome Ireland who believe the exclusion of their children from the July provision scheme is an injustice and a disgrace.
“How can the education system and the Government leave children with Down’s syndrome behind, as that is what is happening? They are being denied the right to learn at their own pace”.