EirGrid ignores the special needs of autistic kids


The fact that autistic and other special-needs children are hypersensitive to electric noise (and often the general urban hum) is a long-established fact. If in doubt, see the research carried out by the Autism Institute (http://www.autism.com/ari/newsletter/044/page3.pdf).

The hum and crackling of electrical lines is deeply disturbing to many autistic people, kids and adults. I have personally witnessed it so I know it to be true. Many parents relocate to the country for that very reason – the quiet of the countryside is absolutely essential for their autistic child’s quality of life, and therefore for the family as well.

This point was made to EirGrid when they suggested putting pylons and electric cables close to people’s houses. In the stillness of the country, the electrical noise coming off those cables will be irritating to the ordinary ear, but to autistic children (and many autistic adults), it will be like a torture chamber. And their emotional distress and screaming will be like torture for the rest of the family too.

The point was made again in the submissions by Comeragh Against Pylons (see it at www.rethinkpylons.org), as there are a number of special needs children in that area, my son being one of them. Did EirGrid listen? Of course not – their tunnel vision can only allow the image of pylons and 400kV cable. It does not include the anguish it will cause to so many people, including the most vulnerable in society.

I ask that you send this message far and wide, so that people know what a heartless monster we are dealing with, despite the Minister Rabbitting on about ‘consultation’ and how the government would ‘never hurt people’.

About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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1 Response to EirGrid ignores the special needs of autistic kids

  1. Pingback: An Opportunity Missed – Callaghan vs. An Bord Pleanála and the Attorney-General | The Law is my Oyster

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