Deputy Martin Kenny
Sinn Féin TD for Sligo Leitrim, Martin Kenny has addressed the absence of a psychologist for school-age children in the North West.
Deputy Kenny referred to an eight-year-old child, in North Leitrim, whose parent had contacted him, about lack of services to deal with her various disorders and emotional dysfunction.
He said: “She is on the list awaiting an autism spectrum disorder, ASD, assessment, but there is no psychologist for school-age children in the area. The parent to whom I refer has received a communication from the service informing her that the child is number 67 on a list of 68 children.
“In recent weeks 50 children in the region have been transferred to access this service in Northern Ireland by way of a special fund put in place for them.
“That fund is now exhausted. This child's mother has been told that she will have to wait up to eight months for an assessment. This child cannot attend school full-time; she only goes part-time.
“She lashes out at other children and at teachers, she damages property, she runs out on the road, and she climbs out of windows. Her situation needs to be resolved, and quickly."
Later Deputy Kenny called on the Minister to either allocate funding so that the access to services in the North can continue, or else appoint a temporary psychologist to cover the maternity leave which is causing such a backlog.