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'Autistic children like Abigail (5) an afterthought for Government'

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‘Struggling’:  Mark and Claire Cahill at home with daughter Abigail (5).
Photo: Frank McGrath

‘Struggling’: Mark and Claire Cahill at home with daughter Abigail (5). Photo: Frank McGrath

‘Struggling’: Mark and Claire Cahill at home with daughter Abigail (5). Photo: Frank McGrath

For Mark and Claire Cahill, hearing the news that their daughter had finally secured a place in a nearby school with a designated autism unit was the answer to all their prayers.

Parents to four young children, the couple living in Raheny, Dublin, have spent years battling to get adequate resources for their eldest child Abigail (5), who has autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and a speech delay.

She had been flourishing in a "fantastic" pre-school in Donnycarney and last March they heard she got a precious primary school place in a six-pupil classroom.