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Parents of autistic children on mind altering drugs report years of no medical supervision by CAMHs – Carroll MacNeill

20th September 2022 - Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

The Oireachtas autism committee today heard of a child given psychiatric medication by CAMHs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and left unsupervised for five years.

Fine Gael Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, who is on the committee, said the oversight responsibility needs to removed immediately from CAMHs.

“Today in the Autism Committee, we heard from parents whose children are given psychiatric medication by CAMHS and not supervised for months and in one case today, for five years.

“If you are a parent of a child with a neurological condition, such as epilepsy, the plan is clear. The child is medically supervised on medication, reviewed in response to physical growth and their experience of the medication.

“However, and here’s the main issue, if you are the parent of a neuro diverse child who requires comparable, mind altering medication, you are left on your own by CAMHS. 

“Parents report having to guess when to give medication, getting prescriptions with no follow up, and a failure to monitor a child for up to five years – despite significant physical growth and development. 

“This responsibility needs to be removed from CAMHS if they are that incompetent at delivering it either individually or as a unit.

“It is negligent to put a child on mind altering medication and fail to supervise it and any medical professional in CAMHS who is responsible for such an outcome should be referred for disciplinary action,” Deputy Carroll MacNeill said.

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