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Well-known member
Feb 25, 2009
When a Down Syndrome child is starting school, they get assessed to determine their needs and if they have a ' Mild Assessment ', (there is no scientific definition), they loose all their services and are effectively discharged from the service provider.
This is a new policy driven by the cutbacks in the HSE. Now I fully understand the need for cutbacks, however Brian Cowen defends having six advisors costing the taxpayer €820000 a year, Mary Harney charges a Snickers bar and a packet of crisps to the tax payer, but Down Syndrome children are facing the prospect of losing professional help.
On the day of the assessment, parents are waking their child up at 03.00 in the morning to ensure that they are tired, and feeding them with a spoon of sugar about an hour or so before the assessment, to produce a temporary state of hyperactivity. All of this to ensure that the child will FAIL the assessment. If they fail the assessment, they keep the professional help.This is the wonderful world of Mary Harney and the HSE.
I don't know what the future holds for Mary Harney after the election, but I do wish on her bad luck and misfortune. She deserves it :mad:


Active member
Sep 28, 2010
The attitude of the current government to healthcare is quite frankly awful. For example, children from Cork who get leukemia will soon have to go up to Dublin for a lot of their treatment because of the "centre of excellence" malarky, in spite of there being a truly fantastic Children's Leukemia unit in the Mercy hospital.

My father approached Mr. Martin about the issue a few year ago , but he seemed dead set on the idea. My brother was 7 years old when he got ill, having that service in Cork meant that he wouldn't have to travel hours in a car every few days for treatment, (when neutropenic he couldn't have be near any strangers or any unhealthy person so public transport would have been unviable). That unit was a godsend, and is actually a true centre of excellence.


Well-known member
Mar 2, 2008
I do not wish Miss Harney ill, I do wish she was never allowed near the Dept of Health. Herself and Drum have done much harm, mainly wastage of public money, When Drum was in front of the public accounts committee I was astonished at the number of people sitting behind him just to hand him papers The wastage of taxpayers money by this government can only best be described as a crime and leave this government unfit for office.
50 million for E voting machines.
220 million for PPARS a computer system in the HSE that never worked right
40 million for Farmleigh, that we saw ministers driving up to last weekend
40 million for the Farm that Michael McDowell bought.
How can we tolerate a system that waste such money and we could not have built the unit for the C.F. patients that was to be started 12 years ago.
How can we have 18% of our electorate that think Fianna Fail still deserve support.


Well-known member
Oct 7, 2010
It depends on the area you are located (i.e. the HSE region). In some areas children with mild Intellectual Disability (Including Down's Syndrome) will receive supports. In other HSE areas they will not resource services or supports for children with mild ID. The focus seems now to be on the most severe disability i.e. the moderate and sever/profound. Has the child had a SENO report? Depending on when the child was born he/she may be entitled to a statutory Assessment of Need, which leads to a service statement which is enforceable.

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