(This post refers to the Christmas Bazaar 2013.)

The parents of children with special needs group wishes to thank the PTA committee and the general parent body. We are really happy to report that the funds raised specifically for the ALC (Assisted Learning Class) at the Christmas Bazaar are now being spent in the best possible way.

You may not be aware that, because of the moratorium on HSE staff, the children on the autistic spectrum attending the ALC in our school are now without the crucial services of a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. The funds raised have paid for a limited, temporary service in both disciplines to the children of the ALC. Following initial recent visits by private therapists, these therapies are now due to begin in September. While this is a short-term solution (we must continue to lobby for the government to provide these services as is their obligation), it is utterly crucial to these children that they receive these interventions at an early age - they cannot wait for the political and economic climate to change.

It is very heartening for our group to have received this support from the whole school community. Please find below an email from a parent whose child attends the ALC.
Our son is in the ALC and one of the children benefiting from the funds donated by the PTA. These funds are paying for SLT and OT, or speech and language therapy and occupational therapy to the uninitiated.

Our son has no voice. As his parents we often feel we have no voice in spite of all our shouting.

A child with autism once described himself as being like a wasp in a jar, where the other children are just outside the jar and he desperately wants to join them.

He cannot. He keeps hitting the thick glass. He cannot get out the top of the jar because there is a tight lid locked down.

Our son is in this jar, and the designated service providers, namely the HSE, insist on giving us a lid to tighten on the jar.

He receives no SLT and no OT from the HSE, despite their own assessment half our son’s lifetime ago that it is critical he receive these services.

Autism can be a lonely and isolating path for the child and their family. It is humbling to us as parents that you are there in support and as our friends on this path.

On behalf of our son a heartfelt thank you for helping ‘lift the lid’.