O’Dwyer calls for National Autism Empowerment Strategy

by Gazette Reporter

The Labour Party’s Local Area Representative for Clondalkin-Rathcoole, Chris O’Dwyer, has added their support to the Labour Party Dáil motion calling for a National Autism Empowerment Strategy that will be debated this week.

 In recognition that the special interests and strengths of autistic people are a vital part of our communities and society, the Labour motion would ensure inclusion, equality and accountability for the autism community.

 O’Dwyer said: “Parents spend so much time fighting with the State for their child that it leaves them exhausted and broken so our motion calling for a National Autism Empowerment Strategy is about accountability for autistic children and adults, and their families. We want a rights-based approach that ensures their inclusion and acceptance.

 “The delays, cancellations and curtailments in healthcare, education and other public services caused by Covid-19 have made what was already a poor situation considerably worse for autistic people and their families. They are in a uniquely isolated and vulnerable position and studies are already showing the mark left on autistic people from lockdowns,” added O’Dwyer.

Labour Representative O’Dwyer also criticised the long waiting times for assessment and services with the HSE confirming an average 19-month waiting list and5,087 assessment of need applications overdue for completion..  

“A clear system of accountability and scrutiny relating to autism service provision is urgently required in this country,” said Labour Rep O’Dwyer.

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