Autistic Boy's Parents Lose Eur5m Legal Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: By AODHAN O'FAOLAIN

THE parents of an autistic boy have lost a EUR5million legal bid to secure special education for their son.

Cian O Cuanachain and his wife Yvonne sued the state after claiming the education their son Sean was receiving was not appropriate.

Following a 68-day case, Mr Justice Michael Peart decided the Department of Education fulfilled its obligations to the six-year-old.

The O Cuanachains claimed a new system of Applied Behavioural Analysis was best for Sean.

But the department said the eclectic and Model A programme was most appropriate.

However, the court deferred making a separate decision on whether the state failed to meet Sean's educational needs over a two-year period and if he is entitled to damages for this.

Speaking outside the court, Yvonne, from Mountain View, Arklow, Co Wicklow, said: "The light of learning has been all but extinguished for Sean today. We know the progress he has made with ABA, but now face placing him in an eclectic provision which ...could potentially damage him."

The state has already spent EUR5million in legal costs on what is seen as a test case. …