Thursday, 19 May 2016

NOT A CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION STORY

An Irish one

Oh, the terrible stories that I have heard out of Ireland over the years. How typical they are of living with disability on the island of Ireland and the quality of services provided over there, I have no way to know. That I have heard them at all, and kept hearing them over thirty years, really is appalling.

This latest one – what a dreadful tale it is to read in a respectable, authoritative, national newspaper. Surely there are politicians, journalists, churchmen, advocacy bodies, ordinary decent Irish people enough, who on reading such a tale feel shame, indignation – or just plain curiosity to see whether there is are reasonable responses to the questions that it raises? At the very least, surely the story poses the question of whether something deeply troubling is showing through the surface here, another potential institutional care scandal.

And the better informed may reflect that this little boy's childhood and the well-being of his family might have been less afflicted by unnecessary woes if individuals and institutions north and south of the Border had not so powerfully and persistently stonewalled to block development of conductive initiatives over there for almost three decades.

And Rory's pottying and therefore his nursery placement might have been swiftly sorted, at minimal expense.

Meanwhile, hats off to the Lighthouse and Buddy Bear Trusts for soldiering on these many years, and keeping the conductive flag flying over there in the graveyard of conductive dreams – and probably of so many other dreams too, one feels forced to wonder...

Reference

Brady, S. (2016) 'I'm hurt and broken by the system' – Mother's heartbreak as the HSE advises her cerebral palsy son can't attend school (24 hours before his first day), The Irish Independent, 15 May

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