A year long wait for the publication of a review of the effectiveness of health services efforts to deal with meeting the needs of the autistic has been described as “unacceptable” by the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Disabilities.
Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, made the statement on the order Minister for Health, Simon Harris, issued to the HSE to conduct a review of operational effectiveness of existing health services responses in addressing the particular needs of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder in August 2017.
The working group set up to carry out this review was to report on its findings by the end of September 2017.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said such a delay was unsatisfactory: “I find it incredible and absolutely unacceptable that we are still waiting for this report to be published almost 12 months after it was expected.”
He said fellow party members have also meet with advocacy and family groups on the failings in the provision of care and services to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“It is quite clear to me from these engagements and the horror stories that have been relayed to us that we are quite frankly at crisis point. Neither the health system, education system or any other system are currently meeting the needs of persons with autism,” Deputy Ó Caoláin said.
The Chair of the Committee on Justice and Equality concluded by saying Minister Harris must release the findings of the HSE’s review and associated report to addressing the needs of “some of our most vulnerable citizens”.