The Independent paints a grim picture of autism reality in Ireland in Autism 'chaos' as one-third wait over year for diagnosis and in an editorial Grim message on autism . Figures released by Irish health authorities show that in one county there are no waiting lists while in others there are 14 months to 3 year delays in receiving diagnosis. For many Irish autistic children the early period when intervention is most effective expires on the waiting list for diagnosis.
The waiting list tragedy is not unique to autistic children in Ireland. Here in Canada there are huge discrepancies between provinces with respect to autism services. Ontario is notorious for its waiting lists for receipt of autism treatment with children left "rotting on the vine". In its editorial the Independent noted that in Ireland:
"following the release of a damning report, the Government was warned that inaction in the welfare of children will lead to a litany of social ills, including an increase in suicide and self-mutilation and family breakdown, which will cost the State dearly in the not too distant future."
So too in Canada our governments, federal and provincial, have been warned by the Senate Committee report "Pay Now or Pay Later" what the future would hold if action were not taken to provide funding and a national autism strategy to ensure that autistic children received the treatment they need. In Canada a cynical Stephen Harper led Conservative party uses pre-WWII views of Canadian federalism to justify its lack of commitment to helping autistic children across Canada.