This Autism Mom Has Chained Herself to Department of Education Offices
Debbie Byrne, from Ireland, will stop at nothing to get her son the services he needs.
Byrne’s 3-year-old son Aaron has nonverbal autism. Before attending his previous school, Jonix Educational Services, from Sept. 2014 to July of this year, Aaron did not walk, feed himself or interact with others, Breaking News.ie reported. Byrne says the special school and small class sizes “brought him from his own world into ours.”
Despite this, the Department of Education has decided to end the grant Aaron needed to attend the school and instead are trying to send him to a new school 30 miles away. Byrne feels this school is not equipped to handle her son’s needs. Now, she’s taken action– Byrne has chained herself to the Department of Education offices in Athlone, Ireland.
— Airc Midlands (@AircMidlands) October 16, 2015
“As his mother, I refuse to accept this,” Byrne wrote on the Justice for Aaron Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 15. “I am his voice and I fully intend to chain myself to the gates of the department of education in Athlone tomorrow, Oct 16th, at approximately 11:00 a.m. to prove the measures I will go to to get justice and equality for my precious non verbal 3-and-a-half-year-old boy with autism.”
— Marian Frawley (@molly02009) October 16, 2015
A statement from the Department of Education and Skills (DES) said it has received an application in Aaron’s case for home tuition. They say the application is currently incomplete, but the parents will be contacted for further information and a decision on the application will be made early next week, Breaking News.ie reported.
“My son can’t speak for himself,” Byrne said, according to the outlet. “If I don’t stand up for what I believe is right and what is just for him, it’s all for nothing.”