‘Scandalous’ treatment of three brothers with autism

Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has highlighted the “scandalous and outrageous” case of a mother of three sons with autism who had to complete a Social Welfare review form for her children and prove that they still had a life-long condition.

  “This is a very bizarre and insensitive case whereby a County Roscommon mother received a review form in the post from the Department of Social Welfare which was addressed to her sons. The lady has four sons, three of whom have severe autism and are aged 19, 21 and 24. One of the sons is non-verbal and one also has Type 1 diabetes and one also has epilepsy. All three sons are in receipt of Disability Allowance since they were 16 years of age and all of their medical details would have been on file since the initial application, but now in recent weeks the family has received review forms from the Department basically asking the sons to prove that they still have autism – it simply beggars belief,” said Deputy Murphy.

  “The tragic fact is that the young men would not be able to complete these forms and the form also poses the question whether your condition has altered or changed which is completely insensitive and demoralising for the family as they had to go to their GP and get medical reports to prove that the men who have been diagnosed with severe autism from a young age still have the condition.

  “The mother also had to get supporting documents from the day centres and schools, as well as letters from the Brothers of Charity. Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder which is not going to disappear overnight and this family have enough challenges with everyday life without being put through the hoops with this type of nonsensical red tape and bureaucracy.

  “The sons who are now in their early twenties all attend day care centres but they require 24-hour attention and care and their mother is their full-time Carer,” said Deputy Murphy.

  The Fianna Fáil TD said he tabled a parliamentary question on the matter and had been in contact with the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar.