Dáil debates

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation


12:47 pm

Photo of Ruairi Ó MurchúRuairi Ó Murchú (Louth, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I was sent a letter by Claire, a grandmother and constituent. Her daughter has a beautiful five-year-old autistic son who attends a unit in Kilsaran school. After begging schools, it was the only one his mother could get a place in even though they live in Dundalk. Thankfully, the unit is brilliant. Mason is over the average height for his age and strong. In addition, he is a flight risk and constantly trying to run away. He is volatile and, in a temper, will hurt his mother and brother on occasion. She is not looking for respite, but she struggles with caring for him and does her best as a single mother. She is now a prisoner in her own home, as is her other son, a ten-year-old. She lives in a two-bedroom terraced house with a small garden. It is heartbreaking. As a grandmother, Claire can only do a certain amount. She is not able to bring him out or, even if she is with her daughter, Mason will still run away. He has no sense of danger.

The child psychologist recommended that he attend occupational therapy service, but there is a two-year waiting list in Louth. Even private services have been closed to waiting lists due to demand.


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