Minister Of State For Disabilities: Staff Shortages Due To Maternity And Sick Leave Partly Responsible For Delay In Services For Children With Autism

Staff shortages due to maternity and sick leave are partly responsible for a delay in services for children with autism, according to the Minister of State for Disabilities.

There’s been criticism of the long waiting times for access to early interventions.

One mother is considering moving permanently to Italy so that her twins, who both have autism, can avail of the proper therapies.

Minister Anne Rabbitte says staff shortages and the pandemic have made the situation worse, but she insists the delays are being addressed:

“At any given time, 75% of the compliment does not include people on maternity leave. I need to ensure that I have funding to pay to cover those maternity leaves, because it’s invariably a very much a female led industry. And the other side is, as well, that the NSP that will be coming forward, in the next couple of weeks, I will have a waiting list initiative within that, to ensure that children will not have to wait.”


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