Local autism activist calls for an Oireachtas Committee for Carers

Photo from Oireachtas TV

A Tipperary 6th class student is getting ready to sit the Leaving Cert Maths paper.

Cara Darmody from Ardfinnan is a well-known autism advocate at this stage, and intends to continue to raise awareness by sitting both papers beginning this coming Friday.

Speaking to Tipp Today she said there have been a number of highlights in recent times from getting a promise that private autism assessments would be paid for by the Government, to her invite to meet the President later this month.

However, she said the work is not done, and this morning revealed her newest call on Government.

“I am calling for the setting up of an Oireachtas Committee for Carers for the first time in order to properly examine and review carers allowance it should be just like the autism committee about 9 months long and then issue a final report for change at the end of it. I am officially calling for an Oireachtas Committee on Carers.”

Cara’s father, who also has two severely autistic sons says payments for private assessments should be back-dated as far as possible.

Mark Darmody says that the recent overturn of Government policy in relation to the cover of private autism assessments was progress.

However, when speaking to Tipp Today he said that promises are no good without action.

It was recently agreed that the Darmody’s costs would be covered, but Mark doesn’t think it should be on a case by case basis.

“It is definitely accepted in principle that the government need to pay but of course what you will see now is the messing where they will say ‘oh no it is only from such and such’, all that we can do is ask for everybody and everything, and go back as far, as far as I am concerned, since the foundation of the state. No one should ever have paid for a private assessment it was never your bill to pay so all I would say to everybody is hold on to your receipts. I am aware of one special school that has gone to the SHE and the HSE has agreed to pay for all private assessments of that school for the pre-school.”