Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 22/09/2014. Tags: Parenting Education And Politics
According to a report in the Irish Independent
today, over 3000 children in Ireland with speech and language problems do not have proper access to speech therapists.
The Irish Independent cites an on going report done by Inclusion Ireland
, who argue that children with speech issues may wait up to a year to get proper diagnoses and therapy.
The report says that data released by the HSE shows that there is up to a two year waiting lists in some cases in parts of Ireland who are either waiting to be assessed or waiting for a reply from the HSE. There are calls for more speech therapy staff to be recruited to deal with the volumes on waiting lists.
Paddy Connolly, chief executive of Inclusion Ireland, warned: "The system cannot cope with the demand and families are making huge sacrifices to pay for private therapy.
"The Government allocated €4m in the 2013 Budget for the recruitment of 80 staff across a range of therapies. Just 30 were for speech and language therapists and that is wholly inadequate. "It requires something in the order of an extra 80 to 100 speech and language posts to be put in place a year over three to five years," he added.
According to the report, because some families have been waiting years to get their child to get adequate language therapy it has been “detrimental to their child’s development”.
Around Ireland, blackspots in services mean that families from parts of the country like Wexford and Donegal have seen the longest waiting lists as staff for these areas have over 300 on waiting lists compared to over 100 on lists in Cork and Wicklow.
Pauline Conroy, a social policy expert is calling on the amount of speech and language therapists to be doubled from 283 to 565 nationally.