Tralee Mother Appeals For Respite Help For Intellectually-Disabled Son

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A TRALEE woman is appealing for respite help with her seven year old son who has autism and is intellectually disabled.

Selina Switzer was on RTE Radio 1’s Liveline Show on Tuesday where she outlined the constant care her son needs and the pressure it is putting on her family.

Selina shares a room with both her autistic son and his twin brother in the three bedroom house, along with her other two children.

She said her son needs 24 hour care, she has received little to no support for her son who is a constant flight risk and Selina said she is at breaking point because of this. Despite her efforts, Selina says she is not getting respite help from services.

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“There’s meetings called, there’s promises made, recommendations made, but that’s basically what you get, it usually falls through,” she told Joe Duffy.

Her son does attend school and likes the routine but even there he will try to run off between classes and needs constant supervision and more one-on-one attention with an SNA than other children.

Selina also said her son has dismantled the heating system in her house and caused other damage. “He’s eaten the wall, he’s eaten the cupboards, he’s pulled the cupboard presses off, he’s escaped out windows upstairs.”

“My own mental health has deteriorated significantly since Christmas due to this difficulty I have with accessing respite support.”

Selina has had to take him to the Emergency Department on several occasions after ingesting medicine and drinking household cleaner, so she has to keep medicine in her car.

Selina needs proper housing arrangements and has tried to get a mortgage but she was told that being a carer wasn’t real work. Selina said she needs a bungalow rather than a two storey house.

She was offered a house by the council but had to refuse because is was heated by a back boiler and that would not be safe.

Selina went back to college and received a degree in Chemistry at IT Tralee. “I wanted to go out and get a career and give back and pay my taxes and be a part of society and get my house and be a good influence on my children and everything and I know I can’t do that now. That’s gone. I wouldn’t be able to work a nine to five if I’m up every night at one o’clock.”

“I want to be his mom. I’m always going to be his mom, sorry, but I want to be able to mother him for as long as possible at home and the way things are going, I can’t.”

One Comment

  1. Matty O'Leary says:

    Citizens like Selina Switzer should have a natural right and more support from the state.

    Indeed, Ireland needs to support and Irish citizens and encourage Irish people to have more children like Hungary and fill our demographic decline in a natural way with Irish children.

    European people and the governments need to wake up and make real long term safe provisions by investing in our own people and culture!

    Western governments like the Irish government are too quick act to virtue signal and spend my money in the form of taxes on foreign nations?

    The Truth About Band Aid/Live Aid and the Ethiopian Famine:

    I want my taxes to support our future, our community and our citizens like Selina Switzer and her child.