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How to get a diagnosis/test for Autism in Ireland?

Updated: Jul 5, 2021


Here at Super Calm Sensory Products our aim is to educate parents, carers, teachers and children on neurodiversity and the impact it can have on the person caring for the child with a neurodiverse difference. We aim to increase understanding on what is happening in the body of a neurologically different person resulting in greater empathy in understanding certain behaviours. By developing sensory diets and activities aimed towards their specific sensory needs the child should reach optimum levels of arousal to allow them to be present during school and home life.

Someone who has neurologically diverse differences may react differently to others around sensory stimuli and other environmental factors. The overall goal is to promote understanding and increase empathy resulting in a more harmonious environment for all.

 

There are many families who have recognised symptoms in their child that may be associated with Autism or a neurologically diverse diagnosis. These parents want to know how to receive a diagnosis, do they contact a GP or book in with a psychiatrist or a pediatrician

Here at Super Calm we have compiled this information into an easy to read article below as we know it can be a lot of information to take in.


If parents have a concern with their child's development they should contact a GP, the GP or Public health nurse will then refer the child to a pediatrician who can assess the child. There are two routes available for assessment in Ireland:



Public: Public assessments are arranged through your GP or Local Health Centre. A referral will be made to the local Disability or Mental Health Team who then arrange a consultation.


Benefits: Referral to a multidisciplinary team who will complete a comprehensive assessment. Priority access to services available through your local team. These may be limited. Some schools may require a report via the public assessment process to enable them to order resources for the student.

Drawbacks: Long waiting times-some up to 18 months. Limited support available after the diagnosis.




Private: Private assessments can be an alternative to the long waiting times for public appointments. No referral is needed.


Benefits: Shorter waiting time.

Drawbacks: High costs. Some schools no longer accept private assessments to access supports in school.


Parents are often the first to notice early signs of a difference in their child’s language, behaviour or social development, for example a lack of interest in playing with other children or a loss in their language ability. There can be better outcomes for children and young people who are assessed early, who get access to appropriate support and whose family receive advice and support. If you are concerned about your child you should seek advice from your GP or local HSE health centre.


 

Diagnostic reports may outline certain recommended services and supports that the child should access, depending on the child's individual needs e.g. speech and language sessions or occupational therapy. These are available through the public system through the HSE and via private practitioners. The local SENO should be contacted to organise things such as SNA’s or extra resource hours. See National council for Special Education website at: https://ncse.ie/

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