Assessment of Need (AON) in Ireland
Assessment of Need in Ireland
The Assessment of Need (AON) is a process in Ireland that aims to identify and address the needs of children with disabilities. The AON is governed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and is outlined in the Disability Act 2005.
The Assessment of Need is conducted for children who are suspected of having a disability and who may require additional supports, services and special education resources. The process involves gathering information from various sources, including parents or guardians, healthcare professionals, and educational providers. The purpose is to assess the child's needs comprehensively and determine the appropriate supports and interventions required to meet those needs e.g their education needs in schools
How does an Assessment of Need work?
The Assessment of Need process typically involves the following steps:
1. Application: Parents or guardians make an application to the HSE, expressing concerns about their child's development or suspected disability.
2. Gathering information: The HSE gathers information from relevant professionals involved with the child, such as doctors, psychologists, therapists, and teachers. Parents or guardians may also provide information about their child's needs.
3. Assessment: A multidisciplinary team reviews the gathered information and conducts assessments as necessary. These assessments may include medical examinations, psychological evaluations, educational assessments and Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy Assessments.
4. Report and decision: The multidisciplinary team compiles a report detailing the child's needs and recommends appropriate interventions, services, and supports. This report is provided to the parents or guardians.
5. Implementation of supports: If the child is found eligible, the HSE is responsible for arranging and providing the recommended supports and services. This may include therapies, assistive devices, educational accommodations, and other necessary interventions.
How do I get an Assessment of Need in Ireland?
I wish I could say the process of getting an Assessment of Need was straightforward for families. Many have taken the HSE to court as they were not provided with an Assessment of Need in the designated 6 month timeframe and this is the only option many parents are left with.
With understaffing being a major issue within the public sector, and with demand increasing year after year, the HSE simply can't fulfil their duties leaving many children without the supports they need.
To apply for an Assessment of Need you will need to download this application form. Once they have received the form you should receive a letter confirming receipt within 14 days.
The Assessment of Need should start within 3 months and be completed within another 3 months, but as I have already mentioned above, this is not happening for most families.
The AON starts once the Assessment Officer arranges referral to the Assessors.
For more up to date information on the AON process, I recommend looking at the HSE website.
The Assessment of Need is something don't provide at Gabadoo, but we can support your child to overcome any challenges they may be facing and to learn new skills. You can book a consultation with one of our experienced Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists by clicking here