Autism Care Ruling Offers Parents Hope
Byline: BY JOHNNY CALDWELL
A CO Armagh woman who has remortgaged her home twice to pay for specialist care for her autistic son says she is optimistic about the future following a landmark legal ruling.
Helen Byrne, from Portadown, has not received any financial help from her local education board towards the cost of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) treatment for her sixyearold son, Mikey.
It costs her and husband Tony around pounds 24,000 per year.
But Mrs Byrne is hopeful after the South Eastern Education and Library Board was ordered to pay the full cost of the therapy for seven-year- old Belfast boy Paul Murray.
Helen's son has been home-taught on the ABA programme for two years.
He now requires one more year of the treatment which the Southern Education and Library Board has refused to pay.
The Byrnes have got by on loans, help from family and "generous donations from the people of Portadown".
"There's hundreds of other children across Northern Ireland in exactly the same position," she said. …