I see Mary Hanafin is defending the current and by implication previous governments disgraceful role in special needs education in ireland. Always the big numbers are tossed out casually, 900m on special needs. (But it looks more like 20m on this page).
But where is it going? Two years is average time a child will wait who requires clinical psychological assessment. That is two years after the requirement for assessment has been determined by a state nurse, two years after, for a two year old! That is twice the childs life to date. Every single pratitioner in the field advocates early diagnosis and early intervention, but how can you intervene when you don’t know what the issue is?
What do parents do in that two year limbo?
Then the whole system is structured to remove aid at every step of the way, to eliminate opportunity, to reduce cost. Once you reach the level of primary education the whole rich and enormous wide spectrum of special needs is broken down into four categories and you’d better hit two or better still three for if you want any of that 900m.
The government have fought tooth and nail against ABA because they were strong. In similar cases such as the army deafness cases where they were weak they bent over so far it was hard to see their heads for their arses.
But strong against children?
And worse children who are at a disadvantage?