AUTISM BLOW TO MY 2 KIDS; Mum's Anger as Home Tuition Hours Are Halved

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH BARDON Political Reporter sarah.bardon@mgn.ie

A MUM of four is at war with the Department of Education after it slashed home tuition hours for her two autistic children.

Edel Murphy said Yasmine, five, and four-year-old Aicha are both entitled to 20 hours each but because they are related, that has been halved.

She told the Irish Daily Mirror: "It is just so frustrating.

"The Department has told us that if the girls weren't living under the one roof, they would both be entitled to 20 hours each.

"But because they are related, they only get 20 hours between them.

"It is an unreasonable decision. It is their right to receive an education and the department guidelines say they are entitled to be taught one-to-one.

"One of the girls is at the lower end of the autistic spectrum and the other is at the other end.

"Teaching them together is like teaching a lion and a puppy the same thing - it just doesn't work."

Edel, from Ballyfermot, West Dublin, said she did not want to go public but felt she was left with no choice as officials will not listen to her concerns.

She added: "It isn't right. I am a single mother and I have been told if I let one of the girls live with their father, they would get 20 hours each.

"This is not good enough. …