Last Friday 11-year-old Tipperary student Cara Darmody sat the Junior Cert Math’s exam to raise funds for vital autism services.
She has been studying the curriculum for the past 8 months in preparation and has received nationwide recognition for her efforts.
Cara sat the exam as a fundraiser for autism services in South Tipp as she has two non-verbal autistic brothers, and says that enough is not being done by the government for them.
Speaking to Tipp Today, Cara said she found the exam easier than she had expected and plans to take on the Leaving Certificate Math’s exam next year, when she will be in sixth class.
Following the exam Friday, Cara’s father, Mark Darmody, told Tipp Today that their battle continues for appointments and to see the system change.
Mr Darmody says their battle still continues to raise awareness of the need for services.
He says that they are still waiting on a call from the local services about a reassessment for their son Neil and that is why it is important to help politicians really understand the issues.
On Friday, politicians were able to come see the occupational services in Ardfinnan National School for themselves.
“Ardfinnan has an occupational therapy room and the politicians got to see that. We’re often hard on the politicians, but they don’t understand this issue and we need to explain it to them.
“They were able to come in and they were able to see it, and we were able to explain something simple like this: you need paperwork to use the room. So, if a child next September presents with various occupational issues, in order for them to get maximum use of that room, they will need the paperwork signed off.
“But the problem is that it takes eight months to get a private assessment for occupational therapy. In other words, the child has no proper use of that room.“