Dundalk as it Happens
Local mum fears homelessness due to autistic daughter’s behaviour
A local mother has pleaded for support to help her cope with her autistic daughter.
Maryjane Maguire from Laurel Brook Gardens spoke to The Irish Daily Mirror about the difficulties she is having in raising her six-year-old daughter Mary Kate.
Maryjane says she fears being left homeless as a result of Mary Kate’s behaviour, with the youngster setting her kitchen on fire.
“I can’t cope, I need support,” said Maryjane.
Mary Kate was diagnosed with autism three years ago but according to her mum has received just four hours of therapy since.
Over the summer her problems escalated and on one occasion she pushed her 15-month-old brother Dylan to the ground leaving him needing four stitches to his head.
Mum-of-two Maryjane said she is now facing homelessness after complaints from neighbours over her child’s behaviour resulted in an eviction notice from the landlord.
The 29-year-old said: “She put her toys in the microwave and ended up setting the kitchen on fire.
“They went up in flames and when I came down the glass plate was just sitting on the counter top and the presses above had caught fire.
“The kitchen was full of smoke and she stood there just looking at it.
“She had taken the plate out of the microwave and just left it burning away.”
Mary Kate is non-verbal and attends a special school but has only had six half-hour speech therapy sessions and one occupational therapy session in two years.
Maryjane, aged 29, insisted the level of respite she gets – two nights every five weeks – isn’t enough and she struggles to deal with her daughter’s behaviour on her own.
The HSE have said they have arranged a meeting with the family to discuss the matter.
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