Santa Claus, Ireland's Autism Services and Reindeer's partying in Ibiza.
Santa's favorite Ibiza Haunt?
Autism Services in Ireland and the land of Santa Claus
Last night I had an immensely intense, weird dream that thankfully did end when I woke up. You see folks I have a child with autism and here in Ireland seeking those services is a very difficult task. Yesterday evening I was making a list for my Christmas presents while also trying to write some more charming letters to the Irish Autism Services in the hopes of getting something as remote as Autism Early Intervention Services for my son. It was this combination I realize now today that led to my very strange dream unfolding.
In my nightmare my worst fear was realized i.e. Santa Land had been taken over by the Irish Government and the administration of Santa’s toy production factory was in just as much disarray. Apparently because of this the Santa-land autism services were just as bad as they are here in Kerry on the South Coast of Ireland. That though is not where the similarity ended. In Santa-land it was also said that they too had a Disability act quite like the Disability Act 2005 that we have here in Ireland. In fact when I dreamed about how the autism services were going in Santa-land at the moment I was surprised to realize that the problems autistic children there were facing were actually quite similar to the ones that autistic children in Ireland face every day of the week.
You see here in Co. Kerry in Ireland, waiting for the HSE (Irish Health Services Executive) or our government to deliver on the promises that they made to autistic children under the Disability Act 2005 is actually quite like waiting for Santa Claus to arrive on Christmas Eve i.e. you have no idea at what time they will come? Or even worse what day or what year?
Now when I first read the details supplied about Autism Early Intervention Services in Ireland link I too immediately thought how magical, how wonderful i.e. a whole HSE multidisciplinary early intervention team will work with my autistic child (Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist and Social Worker) on an ongoing basis for as long as early intervention is required. Yes it certainly made me feel four years old again and I mostly certainly did wait with great excitement for all the wonderful gifts that the HSE Early Intervention Services were going to bring that year.
However this is where we get back to my frightening dream...I was now four again and my mom had just told me, ‘well Mary you see the bother with you getting presents this year is that the big jolly fellow is a bit strapped for cash at the minute. Apparently though it’s not his fault it’s all the reindeer's doing. They got a bit carried away last summer and went off the rails just a tad. They were allegedly (this was never proved beyond a reasonable doubt in my dream but it was merely a speculative rumor according to their Press Office), seen partying, a bit too recklessly in Ibiza…..’
As is usual in Ireland too in my dream a lot of what was observed and in fact seen by others was somewhat glossed over by Santa’s magnificent Public Relations team. Then poor old Santa was saying that the end result of the reindeer’s season of excess was that now both he and Mrs Claus were now left picking up the tab for their overtly extravagant reindeer's.
Strangely enough this is now what is happening in Ireland too i.e. the Bankers and the Property Developers had a mega party during the Celtic Tiger but now us poor old elves and our Special Needs children have to do without this Christmas as we have to try and deal with the consequences of our fifth consecutive austerity budget.
It was also being vehemently suggested in my dream that these said unnamed antler clad individuals enjoyed three months of living on Don Peringnon and Caviar. Also reputedly although not confirmed as of yet were the speculations that they had also partaken in many dubious all night parties, involving gold jacuzzi’s, laptop dancers and some rather dubious illicit substances.
Apparently though all was not lost at the end of the day because they were left with some lovely photographs of the scenery that they saw (through squinting eyes with dark glasses on) and were also seen to be associating with all the right A-list celebs. So unfortunately now just like in Ireland too we also now have to watch all our children being deprived in the years to come as we pick up the tab for the Mega Celtic Tiger Party (which us ordinary folk were never invited to of course)..
The parents in the dream were in pretty much the same bind i.e.what were they supposed to say to their autistic children? ‘I know how difficult things are for you now son but there were just no services available for you when you needed them. You see Santa was just in a bit of a bind then and he just didn’t have the resources to give you what you needed to lead a good, fulfilling life. He didn’t even a bob left then to pay the poor old elves either. Many of them had to be laid off and they ended up being the real scapegoats for the excesses of the party season and it is those poor old workhorse elves who are still carrying the can for the reindeer's summer of excess.’
The elves themselves though apparently had a bit of a different take on the truth of the situation to the one that was being fed to the media by Santa’s Public Relations dream team. They were in fact far from impressed by the whole debacle and it appeared that beneath the surface there was actually a lot more to this dream story than the slick spin version Santa Claus had released to the public.
In fact there were also many rumors circulating among the elves that your man in the red suit knew exactly what the reindeer's were at when they partied recklessly in Ibiza spending the money put aside for the Christmas stock. Also whispering's began that there was also an as of yet unreleased file that apparently proved that this unnamed figure in a crimson satin two piece suit was in fact sited himself actually cavorting around Ibiza in a state of complete disarray.
Also then another rumor broke i.e. that there was actually a photocopy of an expense statement involving Mrs E. Claus’s gold Visa card which allegedly was used quite a few times in a sunnier climate, for things like, champagne, exclusive hotels and gourmet reindeer food!
Mrs E. Claus herself though had actually been at home warming her threadbare feet against the open fire in her log cabin when these expenses were racked up! Santa though in my dream was adamant that he had in fact not been anywhere near Ibiza but instead had been in Lourdes praying for a fine Christmas Eve that year while the Nuns of the Blessed Heavens were also bathing his arthritis ridden hands in holy water.
An official spokesperson also confirmed that Mr. Claus had no recollection of giving his wife’s credit card to anyone. Instead some unsavory person, who had been apparently hanging around this religious shrine, stole the said gold visa card and took off for Ibiza with it.
Santa Claus’s spokespersons also maintained that it was nothing but pure speculation to link the fact that this was actually this said persons wife’s card i.e. Mrs E. Clauses Visa Card that was subsequently repeatedly used in the same hotel where the reindeer's partied on with abandon.
Then my dream continued with the same austerity measures being introduced by the Administration that we all suffer from here in Ireland too i.e. Mr. S. Claus would have to introduce some new stealth taxes to pay off the reindeer's crippling debts. Before I woke up he had come up with a tax specifically for those who were less than five feet tall and worked exclusively in the toy production and distribution industry. The elves then felt that this was unjustly singling them out but Santa disagreed totally, ‘we’re all in this together lads and I have also put some severe restrictions on the reindeer's spending too I even sent them a memo suggesting that they should try to drink a cheaper brand of champagne in future.’
All other objections were then over ruled and just yesterday it was leaked by another unidentified source that Santa Claus had recently stated, ‘for God sake, what am I paying my PR machine so much for if it means I can now only be seen to be eating beans on toast until at least 2015?’
So then the Finance team had to agree that maybe Santa could still have the odd bottle of champagne, and the very occasional little religious break just to keep his arthritis at bay but it had to be always done in a very low key fashion.
So just like in my dream here in Ireland a H.S.E. Early Intervention Assessment and services for our Special Needs children will to be made available at some unspecified date in the future, might be this year or next or possibly your child might just remain on the waiting list until it’s simply too late to make up for lost time. This is happening folks because of the PR Spin dream team and some very slick little clauses that have been inadvertently slipped in to the Disability Act 2005 while nobody was looking!
In the U.S.A. I have heard that they actually describe early intervention as being therapies and support that a child gets between the ages of 1 and 3?? Now I know our politicians, doctors and H.S.E. Early intervention teams are already aghast at such a notion.
‘What do you mean give them early intervention services early? That just makes too much sense? You’ll be demanding more hospital staff next or even an end to the five mile long waiting list for hearing tests that so many special needs children get stuck on for years before they can even be assessed?’
‘God,’ I screamed in frustration before I woke up, ‘the whole thing is just mad and it makes no sense?’
‘My dear Mrs Godley don’t you know by now that the politics behind autism isn’t supposed to make much sense to the likes of you. Those of you not in the loop can just wait and maybe if you are one of the chosen few then just maybe your child might just get the odd service before they reach 18. I can’t promise anything though it will all depend on how many reports the Minister for Health would like to collect this year, the available allocation of resources that will then be left after he has paid his costly advisors, the reindeer's 'very modest,' expenses and very much how you choose to vote in the upcoming election etc….’
Thank God Santa does not run Lapland in the same way our Government runs Ireland and that we can all still look forward to the Jolly fellow giving us some much needed relief from all the doom and gloom we have been through in 2012.
So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thanks to all who have read my Hubs. Please keep reading.