16 February 2011

Speech Therapy Waiting Lists in Clondalkin and Lucan “A Disgrace”- Fiztgerald

Fitzgerald Slams Outgoing Government for failure to meet the needs of children in Clondalkin & Lucan

Fine Gael general election candidate Frances Fitzgerald has slammed the outgoing government for leaving children in the Lucan and Clondalkin waiting too long for speech therapy and needs assessments.

“I do a lot of work on behalf of parents whose children are in need of speech therapy and needs assessments. I am continually appalled by the lack of early intervention in cases here in Lucan and Clondalkin,” said Frances Fitzgerald.

“If a child is in need of speech therapy or a needs assessment then they need to get it as early as possible to mitigate developmental problems. Early detection and early treatment is crucial for developing children. It is unbelievable to think that a child of three or four in need of speech and language therapy could be left waiting for appointments for months on end while their needs grow,” said Frances Fitzgerald.

"Last year we were awarded a new position for a speech therapist here locally but there were ongoing delays and difficulties in appointing someone and yet again children were left waiting. I meet parents all the time who are frustrated and worried about this issue and we need to allocate sufficient resources to ensure our children in need of treatment are not left high and dry. It is disgraceful that the increase in demand for speech therapy and the startling waiting periods are coupled with a decrease in the number of classroom assistants and special needs assistants,” continued Frances Fitzgerald.

“This outgoing government hit out at the vulnerable in our society again and again. As part of a Fine Gael led government, I hope to be elected to a position where I can ensure the needs of children are taken into account by a new administration,” concluded Frances Fitzgerald.