The Explainer x Noteworthy: Why is it so tough to access autism services?

Reporter Niall Sargent and expert Eleanor McSherry tell Susan Daly about chronic delays in autism assessments and services for children.

By Laura Byrne Assistant News Editor

Design for ASSESSING AUTISM project featuring a child being assessed by a smiling female psychologist with infinity symbols in the background.

“I know I have scars and I know plenty of people who have scars too.”

This is one of the reasons why head of autism studies at University College Cork, Eleanor McSherry, who was diagnosed as autistic in adult life, wants to see more State support to help autistic children understand their own neurodiversity from an early age.

McSherry spoke to Noteworthy as part of our ASSESSING AUTISM investigation which found chronic delays in supports, with children facing multi-year waiting lists for therapy and other vital services. 

As part of this project, reporter Niall Sargent spent the past month listening to families about their ongoing struggles to ensure their autistic children, living in the shadow of a dysfunctional State service, receive timely assessments and subsequent services.  

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with Sargent about the investigation’s findings. We also hear from McSherry about her personal experiences and her anger over a lack of State action for over two decades. 


This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Niall Sargent and producer Laura Byrne.

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