Autism diagnostic centre to open in west next year

Plans are in the pipeline to open a diagnostic centre in the west next year for children with autism.

The facility is the brainchild of the Action for Life Foundation, a non profit organisation which provides services for children with autism and developmental delay.

Applications are now being accepted for the centre which will initially cover the western region where there is a “huge” waiting list for diagnosis and assessment, according to the foundation.

“Presently there are no medical tests to diagnose autism and early intervention is paramount for the development for a child with autism and developmental delay,” explains Grainne McGeown of the Action for Life Foundation which is based at Lisbaun Industrial Estate.

“The centre will consist of a team of clinical psychologists, education psychologists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. Parents will also receive support and counselling to help them adjust to the daily challenges they face and training will be provided to give them the knowledge to help them support and understand the needs of their child. Due to demand applications are now been taken for the diagnosis centre.”

The opening of the diagnostic centre is part of the first phase of the foundation’s four year plan. It also intends to open a pre-school in Tuam which will cater for 20 children aged two to six years.

“We are now taking applications for the pre-school which will be open from 9.30am to 2.00pm and we will also provide an after school service to include one to one tuition. The pre-school will specialise in the design of behaviour modification programmes for children with autism and developmental delay, behavioural problems, and language and learning delays.

“We will focus on the designing of individual education plans and prioritising targets, identify appropriate communication systems and design behavioural management programmes. The school will be based primarily on a 2:1 ratio to ensure each child’s needs can be fulfilled.”

For information on any of these services contact Gráinne McGeown at (087 ) 6149471 or write to 33 Kilkerrin House, Lisbaun Industrial Estate, Tuam Road, Galway.


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