Diagnosis and assessment of a disability

The Disability Act 2005 states that every disabled person is entitled to a Statement of Need and a Personal Care Plan.

However, so far only the under 5 age group is being assessed in the Bray area. While Bray has a larger range of disability services than most towns in Ireland, places are scarce. Therefore, placement often depends on the funds available to a service rather than the suitability of the service to your child.

Obvious physical or sensory disabilities, such as paralysis, blindness or deafness are easily diagnosed and assessed. Therefore it is simple to have a Statement of Need drawn up for a person with these types of disabilities.

For a child with a learning disability, and especially as your child gets older, the process of diagnosis and assessment is slower and suitable provision to meet their needs can be more difficult to access.

 

How do I get a child diagnosed?

Under 5 years

The local Public Health Nurse monitors babies for weight, height, sight, hearing and speech. The baby's development is regularly compared to the average for the baby's age. If a Public Health Nurse, a GP or a Paediatrician feels that a child is not reaching development targets they will refer the child through the Community Health Service to the relevant specialists. http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/LHO/Wicklow/Public_Health_Nursing/

5-12 years

If you think your child may have a disability you should contact the

HSE Disability Section
Block B
Civic Centre
Main Street
Bray
Tel: 01 274 4200

If your child is attending school, their development should be monitored and compared to the average for their age. A school or teacher would normally advise parents if they feel that a child is not achieving the targets for their age. If teachers have concerns about physical or sensory development they will normally contact the relevant Community Service or the Department of Education to request an assessment. A GP or Public Health Nurse may also request an assessment if they think a child may have a disability. http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/LHO/Wicklow/Public_Health_Nursing/

12-18 years

If you think your child may have a disability you should contact the

HSE Disability Section
Block B, The Civic Centre
Main Street
Bray
Tel: 01 274 4200

If your child is attending school, their development should be monitored and compared to the average for their age. A school or teacher would normally advise parents if they feel that a child is not achieving the targets for their age. If they have concerns about physical or sensory development they will normally contact the relevant Community Service to request an assessment. A GP or Public Health Nurse may also request an assessment if they think a child may have a disability.  http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/LHO/Wicklow/Public_Health_Nursing/

18+ years

When a child reaches the end of full time education their school or service provider (if they are receiving residential care) will have drawn up a care plan for them and decided on their diagnosis and future placement.

Adults who have not been assessed in childhood, or have moved to the area and require services should contact the HSE Disability Section so that the adult may have an appropriate service provider appointed.

HSE Disability Section
Block B, The Civic Centre
Main Street
Bray
Tel: 01 274 4200
 
 

How is disability assessed?

Depending on the type of disability an appropriate organisation will be asked to start assessing the child or adult. This may be done through organisations such as Saint Catherine's, Enable Ireland or Solas Centre, or other specialist services.

 

Diagnosis and Diagnostic Tools

Different syndromes and conditions require a range of diagnostic tests. An assessment could be done with a Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Speech and Language Therapist or other specialised clinician. The diagnosis can be requested by a GP, Nurse, Teacher or Paediatrician. Depending on the diagnosis, there may be a special support team of nurses and social workers who will explain a syndrome. A written assessment of the child or adult's abilities and their needs will be provided. This will be sent to the person requesting the assessment so that remedial help may be provided.

 

 

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