Our little Girl has Autism, not just Autism, but severe Autism with a moderate to severe learning disabilty. She is nine years old. She doesnt talk but she babels constantly and lives in her own world, while the real world is a constant danger to her. She also has other features such as ADHD and ODD. This would add to her been a danger to herself, constant self harm.
Our little boy has Aspergers, mild, but just as big of a challenge, this is our son. He is 11, likes his privacy. Obsessive with behaviour and one hell of a great brother for his little.*
My baby girl cant get a school in Offaly or Laois. Somebody forgot to tell Brian Cowan, John Maloney and co that even severe auties needs school. But money was spent elsewhere. She goes to school in another county. Rises for the challenge every morning.*
When she was diagnosed we were told, she was this and that, blah blah and she needed blah blah and your family needs b blah blah supports. We left the diagnoses team with a piece of paper and visions of rain man. Reality was not real. At least we knew what was wrong. So we applied for resources and joined Loffa. When we got to the meeting we were delighted to be told whats what and wheres what. We cam in the room and there was a room full of people,each one had devastation in their eyes. They welcomed us and then told us the awful truth. Prepare to fight. God bless them. They were right.
We got limited resources. Six sessions of speech therapy and then nothing. Six OT, and then nothing. This was 2004, the height of the boom and nothing. Instead when we rang up for more, we were told that the OT or SL hadn't got enough *therapist because either an embargo or they all were pregnant or something and there was no cover. Yes this was the boom.
Worse, our diagnoses was a psychiatrist. In order for us to send our child to school we needed a psychologist report and we need this to know what level our child is at. Nobody told us nothing about this except Loffa, who were consumed on older families bringing the HSE TO courtcases as they got nothing and they gave us something. Shoulders of giants stuff.
My boy was thrown out of his first year of school, they couldnt handle him, why, we soon found out. By miracle we got a diagnose with a little help. Aspergers, a multipsensory disorder. Thank god mild stuff. He obsessed on dinosaurs and things that rip things apart. We have never told him. We managed to get 5 hours of resources a week. The Ot never came. Thank god, that young fella is great. He showed us he is determined. But now the teens are calling, will we tell him now? Why he prefers the company of Spore, rather than human contact.
We decided to send girlie to school at four, we were getting nothing. Maybe a school is just what we need. TO our school the one school in Offaly, Ballinamere with an Autism unit was filled. 13 kids for 5 places. We got lucky Aty had a place. But our little girl would have to travel 1hr 3/4 every morning just to get in. Worse, the very day she was starting the Seno called me to say the dept of transport wont pick girlie up. A last minute decision, not economically viable. We campaigned in vane to them, local politicians are blind to it. One even said why doesnt she not go to the local school. Normal school, why didnt I not think of that, just give her a clip over the ear and tell her off that will starighten her out, hmph some people eh!!! We managed to bully (thats what the guy in the transport office told me) to an arrangement. The bus was in Portarlington, but takes 13/4 hrs to get to school, remember limited resources and other Autie kids in laois as well, one bus!!*
Aty did there best for four years, still in the boom. We eventually got a private psychological report done courtesy of loffa. We tried to get in done from NEPS, who are the psychologist for our national schools and my son because they dont do Autism Units because it costs too much, quote and unquote. Just remember Brian Cowen was minister for finance at the time with a surplus, great speech huh. We
The psychological gave her scores, she was an eight month year old in language and a mean of being a two year old. We were told she has a learning disabilty, us a pair of muggins thought that was natural. girlie wandered on. We noticed in videos girlie was not joining in with the other Autie Kids, strange. Told nothing again. The teachers always had a brave face. They loved girlie and girlie loved them. We had applied for aba in Saplings but places are limited, I always cranked there is cherry picking there. But this is me being weak.
We were concerned, girlie was six, no tiolet training yet or words, no words we are still on pecs and hand to hand. Although she is a genius with the computer. She was still in space. I went to the HSE to talk to an expert. After 9 meetings I met a senior psychologst and she told me straight. girlie will be a toddler, probably forever. Based on her scores. The learning disabilty and a severe delay not good.
The school wanted a meeting, the principle as there. They all had something in their eyes. Probably waiting for me to explode. They explainded to us that they couldnt afford a two student classroom, one on one scenario. Due to cuts. They couldnt ask meto take her out, they couldnt ask my wife. Not good. Hannafin successor what his face croney has cut special needs budget. The recession is looming.*
We knew this was coming, I had put my temper in a bottle. She would never progress there, the school has hid this form us for years but the cracks were showing. The HSE has told me to look to a special school. They will look after her ontil she is eighteen. Roscrea is the place to go. Aty gave girlie her communion, we cried and then got accepted into Roscrea.*
Hang on did I miss something, the Seno of Tipp didnt want her, we were told we wont get a bus, we jumped that hoop as we got the seno in Offaly to admit, no school in the midlands would cope with her. They put up a fight, but we were malignant and armed with the truth.
Gas, the seno in Offaly was saying of course she could got to a school around the county, a visit later, it was I see what you mean.
This story is a summary, the constant meetings, fights to get eveything. We cant go out, no respite no babysitter, who can cope. Locks on the windows are property damaged, our 18 hour days. The worry if she got away from us........ on and on we go
girlie is in her second year of school here and they have toilet trained her, she is still self harming and OT and SL are trying to cope with this as well as a behavior therapist. We are trying to get the HSE to help us. In a case meeting they have admitted she is a prorty one case. We are hoping to get our first clinical psychologist report to help us with this as per the removed psychiatrists who have helped us in the past. Its a race against time as the cuts are coming!!!!