ASD primary diagnosis people excluded from Irish services

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19 Jul 2022, 8:36 am

’Blatant discrimination': Charity criticises exclusion of some autistic people in Camhs review

Ireland’s national autism charity said it is deeply concerned by the decision of the Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) to exclude autistic people and their families from the upcoming audit of its services.

AsIAm said the decision was regressive and deliberately sets out to exclude a number of autistic people.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the charity said there are autistic people who are on mental health medications without a formal diagnosis.

"It is nothing short of a disgrace that this cohort would be excluded and will cause many to ask why this is the case," it said.

"Whilst it is acknowledged that this review is to include autistic people with a co-occurring formal mental health condition, the audit sets out to exclude those with a primary diagnosis of autism."

According to the charity, eight in 10 autistic people experience mental health conditions while there is a nine-times higher rate of death by suicide in autistic people in comparison to people without an intellectual disability diagnosis.

Deputy CEO of AsIAm, Fiona Ferris, said autistic people and their families have had particularly negative experiences interacting with Camhs due to a lack of clear pathways to mental health supports.

She said families around the country are deeply concerned about this latest development which she labelled blatant discrimination.

"If autism is a primary diagnosis which there is no medication for, and such a person has been prescribed medication by a psychiatrist the only team who could be responsible is Camhs, as disability teams do not have a psychiatrist on staff."

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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19 Jul 2022, 9:00 am

This sounds like a crime …..Am quite sure the Irish system needs to be re-evaluated . At least from a mental health perspective. :(

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22 Jul 2022, 1:23 pm

Well, this is most disturbing if not, disheartening literally.