October newsletter from Special Needs Parents Association

Budget 2014 was announced on 15th Oct and included the following changes:
  • One-Parent Family Tax Credit is to be replaced with a new Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit.
  • Tax relief on health insurance premiums will be limited to €1,000 for each adult and €500 for each child.
  • Under the Household Benefits Package, the Telephone Allowance will be discontinued.
  • Free GP care will be introduced during 2014 for children under 6 years old.
  • Prescription charge for medical card holders increased to €2.50 per item up to a maximum of €25 per month per person or family (increased from €19.50).
  • €10 million is to be saved by the removal of products from the List of Reimbursable Items for the medical card and Drugs Payment Scheme.
  • €20 million is allocated in 2014 for the development of mental health services.
  • Child benefit reduced by €10 for 4th and subsequent child as announced in budget 2013.
For more details on budget 2014 see citizens information website. 


Medical Card Review

The government has announced that €113m savings will be made from a review of eligibility of medical card holders but are unable to clarify how many people might lose their cards as a result of the review. PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by the HSE put the potential savings from payments to ineligible medical card holders at between €65m and €210m a year. For more information on the medical card click HERE
Petition to Appoint a Urologist at Temple Street Hospital
Currently the patients of Temple Street Children's Hospital do not have access to a paediatric urologist. Many children are having their overall renal care neglected due to the fact that the HSE has not prioritised the appointment of a urologist despite promises to do so. Please sign this PETITION  calling on the HSE to make the appointment of a urologist to Temple Street Children's Hospital a top priority.
On Saturday 5th October we held our AGM at the Moran Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. It was great to meet members in person, and to communicate with those who were unable to travel but participated in the meeting via webinar. The webinar proved to be a great success and we intend to use it again in the future. Many thanks to Carl Dempsey for his technical support.
We would like to thank all the parents who have become involved with SNPA as parent liaisons and committee members.Their input and expertise as parents of children with special needs has been, and continues to be invaluable.We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing committee members for their dedication over the past 2 years and a big welcome to our new committee members.
Outgoing committee members: Patricia Houlihan, Marian Frawley, Eleanor McSherry, Paul Dolan, Claire Hollywood.
Incoming committee members: Laura Ruth Wogu, Julie Anne Cunneen and Niamh Deane.
Website News
If you are looking for a national support organisation, local support group or a club or activity for your child with special needs take a look at the various sections on our website. If you know of a support group or club which has not been listed please email details to

Chairperson's Report
“Parents are not just the father or mother of a child. Overtime, they may have become carer, therapist, nurse, advocate, secretary, teacher, accountant, counselor & expert in their child’s condition…..Behind the label of ‘Parent’ is a person oftentimes with a professional background & experiences that should be valued by others and not disregarded simply because they are just….a parent”.

 You can read Lorraine Dempsey's Chairperson's report from the SNPA AGM HERE
World Prematurity Day
World Prematurity Day 2013 will be held on the 17th of November and aims to raise awareness of prematurity and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year accounting for more than one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.Preterm babies represent the largest child patient group.
If you have experienced a preterm birth you will find support, information and practical help by contacting Irish Premature Babies.
Monaghan Sports Partnership has organised a 6 week athletics programme for children with a disability and their siblings (5-14yrs)starting Thurs Nov 7th from 6-7pm at the Phoenix Centre Carrickmacross. Pre registration is essential as places are limited and costs €15 per child. Contact Monaghan Sports Partnership 087 2623956


A Wheel-O ( Wheelchair-Orienteering route) has been launched in Lough Key Forest Park by Coillte and Roscommon County Council. Wheel-O  is a new concept in introducing disabled visitors to orienteering, a sport which is growing in popularity each year. It involves participants following a route and identifying their location at control points along the way. 
Le Chéile Family Resource Centre will be hosting Sibling Support Workshops in November aimed at 7 to 12 year olds who have a sibling with a disability.The workshops are based around high activity games and crafts. They will run on Thursday evenings in November from 5.30 to 7pm at Le Chéile Family Resource Centre, Mallow Community Campus, Fair Street, Mallow.If interested contact Sharon Darsan, Support and Development Worker 022 42439 to secure a place. 
To include an event in next month's newsletter email

Progressing Disability Services

The next PD meeting for the Midlands will be at the Springfiled Centre, St Lomans Hospital Campus, Mullingar Tuesday 26th, November at 10:30am.  Interested parents from Offaly, Laois, Longford, or Westmeath can contact the HSE 0-18 Disability Services Manager, Patricia Whelehan, 086-3891041.
You can read about the national project Progressing Disability Services for Children 0-18 years HERE

DESSA Empowering Parents Programme

A 6 week course aimed at empowering parents of children with additional needs to become a more effective voice for their child will commence in the following locations: South Tipperary CCC Clonmel 4th Nov, Carlow CCC 4th Nov, Dungarvan Co. Waterford CCC 5th Nov, Droichead FRC, Callan 6th Nov, Raheen FRC, Wexford  6th Nov, Gorey FRC 7th Nov, Ferrybank Community Group 8th Nov.For further information or to book a place contact Kay Teahan at DESSA 087 3534432 or email

Copyright © 2013 Special Needs Parents Association, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp