Sunday 17 December 2017

'Booted out' of special school due to HSE cuts

Esther Hayden

A Bray mother said she had 'been pushed close to the brink' after her son lost his place at the Avalon Early Intervention Centre because of HSE funding cuts.

Aoife Sheehy Clarke and her husband Patrick were told seven weeks ago that their son Darragh, who suffers from a rare genetic chromosome abnormality and delayed development, couldn't be accommodated at Avalon this September because of cuts at St Catherine's.

However, last week Aoife learned that Darragh's needs are far more complex than they originally thought and just days ago was told that he also suffers from speech dyspraxia and autism.

'We are now in a quandary as to his future', said Aoife. 'And our family is in absolute turmoil. We've been told now that Darragh will probably never leave special needs school but yet he's been booted out of Avalon.

'We're now faced with a number of options – travelling 30km four times daily to Newcastle, keeping Darragh at home and trying to work with him myself as a non-qualified person, or leaving the country.'

Bray People

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