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More than 32,000 were on the waiting lists as of 2014 and the situation is not improving
More than 32,000 children were on waiting lists for speech and language assessments and interventions in December, according to figures from the Health Service Executive.
Almost 16,000 of those children were on waiting lists for an initial speech and language assessment, with one in 10 children waiting a year or more for an initial assessment. Another 16,423 were waiting for therapy with 18 per cent of those waiting for one to two years for intervention.
A party spokesman on disability, mental health and special needs described the HSE’s basic assessment and treatment of children with speech and language needs as “grossly inadequate”.
“It makes a complete mockery of the whole concept of early intervention,” said Mr Keaveney, who received the figures as part of a series of parliamentary questions on the issue.
He said children were “being moved from one list to another” resulting in “extraordinary waiting lists” particularly in Dublin, the commuter belt and Cork.
Waiting Lists Getting Longer Go Private 0874597652
The longest waiting lists for initial assessment were in Kildare/West Wicklow where almost 2,000 children were on a waiting list in December. One-fifth had been waiting more than a year.
There were 1,491 on the waiting list for assessment in the Dublin North West area and in Dublin West almost 1,100 were awaiting assessment. A quarter of children in both areas had been waiting a year or more. More than a fifth of the 504 children awaiting assessment in the South Lee area of Cork were waiting a year or more.
A separate list showing the number of children who had received an initial assessment and were awaiting speech and language therapy showed that Wexford had the biggest waiting list. Almost 1,600 children were awaiting therapy in the HSE area in December with more than half waiting for over a year.