'It would be a dream come true': Mum of boy with autism hopes fundraiser can help them buy a home

'It would be a dream come true': Mum of boy with autism hopes fundraiser can help them buy a home
Selina Switzer with her son, Noah

A fundraising page has been set up to aid a Kerry woman who recently made an emotional plea for respite care for her son.

Selina Switzer said her seven-year-old son, Noah, who is intellectually disabled and has autism, is a constant flight risk and that caring for him is a 24-hour job.

Ms Switzer, who is in her 30s, shares a room with both Noah and his twin brother in a three bedroom house, along with her other two children.

The Tralee mother said their situation and the lack of help she has received has caused her to make an attempt on her own life.

Miriam Moriarty Owens, a friend of Ms Switzer, has sent up a GoFundMe page for the family, with the aim to raise €150,000 to buy "a safe home for Noah and his family," adding that "his mom is at breaking point".

Ms Switzer said a new home would be "a dream come true".

She told Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline on Tuesday that her local council said she wouldn't be offered a mortgage, even though her current housing arrangements are unsuitable, because the care she was giving her son was not counted as "real work".

The council offered her a house last year but she had to refuse as the only way to heat it would be through a back boiler and she said it would be a risk for her child who has no sense of danger.

Ms Switzer added that she fears the more she gets older, the less she will able to cope as he reaches adolescence.

'It would be a dream come true': Mum of boy with autism hopes fundraiser can help them buy a home

"I want to be his mom. I'm always going to be his mom, sorry, but I want to be able to mother him for as long as possible at home and the way things are going, I can't."

She said that when dealing with someone on the autism spectrum, "every day is different. You don't know what you're getting."

She said she has received little to no support for her son and efforts have constantly fallen through. Her son had been attending a creche but the staff were unable to provide the care he needs.

"There's meetings called, there's promises made, recommendations made, but that's basically what you get, it usually falls through.

He has destroyed, more or less, my whole house. He's eaten the wall, he's eaten the cupboards, he's pulled the cupboard presses off, he's escaped out windows upstairs.

"My own mental health has deteriorated significantly since Christmas due to this difficulty I have with accessing respite support.

"I made an attempt at my own life the weekend before, due to it reaching breaking point."


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