On Friday the Irish Government announced that the country was moving from Level 5 to Level 3 from the 1st December and that Ireland was starting to re-open for everyone.

A key factor that resulted in the decision was ” Mental Health ” and some research data that show the Irish people are suffering significant mental health issues as a result of the COVID 19 Pandemic .

At no stage during the course off many hours of media engagements or speeches was the issue of Mental Health and people with disabilities discussed or mentioned , indeed as is the case in all these public announcements that damage taking place for people with disabilities and their families and carers is never addressed .

Day Care Services and respite closed for months and returned to just 5 hours a week for most people on the spectrum and no additional support for carers who have worked 24/7 for over 9 months now .

Don’t  Leave Them Behind is  happy to provide the Government with some relevant data ,which was produced by Dublin City University last August which highlighted a decline in children’s abilities and skills since the introduction of COVID 19 restrictions .

. 74% or parents of a child or children with ASD reported that they are faced with unique challenges in the current restrictions are slowly lifted .

. difficulties in relation to social skills due to lack of social interaction

. challenges with leaving the house due to anxiety , particularly as the restrictions are lifted.

. Challenges for their child/adult in understanding and adhering to the social distancing and public health guidelines  when out in public.

In-relation to abilities and skills .a decline of 61% of children was reported Parents noted ,

. a decline in their child’s ability to self-regulate emotions

. a decline in motivation to engage in activities , including school work

. a decline in academic skills such as maths, reading and writing

In addition ist was found that parents also reported an increase in behaviours such as verbal protests , repetitive and rigid behaviours .

Its an established fact that Governments the world over now accept that they must maintain disability services during this Pandemic.Ireland decided to close down these services without consultation and causing huge damage to persons with disabilities and their families .

As Ireland opens up we need to  a special package of measures to attempt to repaired the damage caused.

Our exhausting and endless fight just to grab the basic services for our vulnerable dependant children and adults will continue until such time as Ireland and society in Ireland start to practice real equality for all.


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