Irish High Court awards autistic boy 60,000 euros in compensation for delay in education|
DUBLIN, Ireland: The parents of a six-year-old autistic boy were awarded more than €60,000 in compensation by Ireland's High Court on May 16.
Justice Michael Peart ruled that the Irish State had delayed in providing Sean O'Cuanachain with education between 2002 and 2004.
The youngster had taken legal action against the State through his father, Cian, from Arklow, Co Wicklow.
The family argue that the State was compelled to provide Sean with 30 hours a week of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), a type of education for autistic children.
The judge previously ruled that the State did not have to provide Sean with ABA.
It is understood that around 150 families were awaiting the outcome of the test case. And on May 16, Justice Peart said delays which had occurred in diagnosis, provisions of therapy and interventions did constitute a breach of duty of care of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Noting the good progress that Sean had made, he awarded the family general damages of €60,000 and special damages of €10,686.56.
The issues of costs, which are estimated at more than €5m for the 68-day case, will be mentioned before the court on May 23.
Seán is currently receiving some ABA education in a school in Co Wicklow, which is part funded by the Department of Education.
His mother, Yvonne, said that, before Seán received the ABA education, he was injuring himself regularly, banging his head against walls and getting frustrated with his inability to communicate. But since going to the school in Wicklow, he has improved dramatically.
(Sources: Irish Examiner, RTE, May 16, 2007)