A mother is terrified that her special needs daughter will be “forgotten” after she was told that there is no funding available to pay for her daughter to attend an adult care-centre.
The Irish Daily Star reports that Antonia Barrett from Cork finished school at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ballincollig last week. Antonia has autism and because she has turned 18, she will need to attend an adult care-centre from September onwards.
However, last week, Eilish, Antonia’s mam, was told by the HSE that there is no funding available to pay for Antonia to attend an adult care-centre.
“Friday was the bombshell…I thought, ‘Who is going to take her without funding?’,” said Eilish.
“All we want is a day service to keep her active from 9am to 3pm. She badly needs structure. September is coming and I’m afraid that everyone will go away on holidays and she will be forgotten about,” she added.
At present there are over 70 young people in the Munster area with special needs who will require adult services by the end of the summer, but these people have yet to secure funding to ensure they get a place in an adult-focussed care-centre.
Antonia was diagnosed with severe autism when she was fifteen years old and as a result, she needs two support workers with her all the time.
Antonia’s parents had put her name down for two other adult centres a few years ago, but recently, both centres were in touch with the couple to say that they simply do not have the funding to give Antonia a place.
The sad thing? Antonia’s story is nothing new. There are hundreds of young people with special needs out there who are not receiving the services that they badly need because of repeated cutbacks.
A rally will take place outside Leinster House this evening. The rally, which has been organised by the Alliance Against Cutbacks in Education, will see parents and teachers protest against these cuts.