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Irish Autism Action Statement

Anthony Doolan has highlighted a problem that faces many people who care for teens with autism.  Even after proving that his son requires full-time care and attention to the Department of Social Protection once, he now has had to do it again despite his son’s condition not changing. Furthermore, his son is being forced to switch to another social welfare payment due to his age, from Domiciliary Care Allowance to Disability Allowance. Anthony has to cope with forms that are designed to measure physical disabilities and ongoing medical issues rather than autism and intellectual disabilities and the impact these disabilities have on the daily care needs of the young person. 

 “What is the most frustrating aspect of this is that the Department has solved this problem before,” said Kevin Whelan CEO IAA  “They engaged with us and other stakeholders when problems arose around the Domiciliary Care Allowance.  The problem identified being that people were wrongly refused DCA or having it removed on review because the Medical Section of the application forms  focused on physical disabilities and medical illness. Those forms have been improved and now include questions related to intellectual disabilities and Autism.  It would seem sensible that they be used for this assessment too – but for the moment they are not.  Our experience is that the Minister for Social Protection has been sensible and practical when dealing with these issues and we are calling on her to urgently address this gap.”




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