Act now for children with disabilities
Parents in the Dublin HSE South West region are being left in limbo waiting for a final assessment report from the HSE – essential if their children are to qualify for services such as speech and language therapy and Special Needs Assistants for schools.
Unbelievably the reason is because two critical posts have been vacant for months. With September just around the corner, parents are facing another school year watching their children struggle and being left behind in school.
Susan applied in 2015 for the all important Assessment Report for her son – that allows the school to apply for a SNA.  Her application has now waited over eight months for a signature to release it. She’s just learnt that her son has been forced to stay back in school next year.
The Government promised that ‘every child who needs an SNA in the coming school year will get one.’  They’ve also promised to improve services, especially for early assessment and intervention for children with special needs  All the research shows that early intervention is vital for children’s development and ability to participate in education. But there are about 15,000 waiting for an assessment and the number of children is growing. 
By themselves, a handful of parents are not a powerful voice. That’s where we come in. With enough of us signing a petition to Finian McGrath, the pressure will force him to step up and use his power to get the HSE to assign staff to the vacant posts.
 The Assessment Officer for the Dublin South West area has been vacant since April 2016. The Assessment officer advise parents, signs off on the final report and forwards the report to the Liaison Officer. The Liaison Officer in the region has been vacant since Nov 2015. This person makes sure children receive the services recommended and decides which team can take their case and makes sure they get the therapy they need.
 The Disabilities Act of 2005 says children are entitled to assessments within six months