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€50k fundraiser launched to help non-verbal boy

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By Michelle Crean

The parents of a five-year-old boy are hoping to raise €50,000 to get life-changing treatment to help his development so that they can hear him talk for the very first time.

Dawid Ciemny, son of Slawek Ciemny and Kamila Smietanska, doesn’t speak or communicate with his parents and is sadly still in nappies.

His parents, who live in Courtyard Killarney, were originally given the diagnosis of Autism but say it’s much more complex than that as Dawid doesn't talk or understand them, and they say the disease has taken away his chance for normal development as he suffers from irrational anxieties, sometimes he is too weak to walk and his small body is in constant pain.

In a bid to give him the best start in life they’ve sourced specialist care in Poland but it comes at a cost of €5,000 per treatment every six weeks for the little boy who currently attends the ASD Sunshine Class in Holy Cross Mercy School.

“In the beginning we had a diagnosis of Autism but it is something else,” his father Slawek explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We were looking for four years to see what was going on. He goes to a psychologist and speech therapist. He has autoimmune encephalitis and treatment is very expensive. We will need to go to Poland for immunotherapy. The treatment is every six weeks for three days and it costs €5,000 per visit.”

He said that the treatment may or may not work for Dawid but they have to try it to give him the best possible future.

“We have to go to Poland to try. Some kids get better after – but we have no guarantee and he could stay the same like now. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t understand what we say. He is still in nappies. He is still walking, physically he is OK.”

Dawid will begin treatment in April 2022 if they are able to raise the funding. To help go to GoFundMe: 'The disease has taken control over Dawid !'

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It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check.

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Important date reminders about CAO applications

The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process. Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in […]

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The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process.

Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in interactive flipbook or to download from www.cao.ie, which also has a lot of resources to help applicants and parents.

To register, log on to www.cao.ie and click on Apply, it will ask you first to input your personal and contact details along with the category of applicant you are. Once you create a password and submit payment you receive you CAO number which means you are registered. It is advisable to go through the Demo Version of the CAO form first which is available on their website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.

Applicants who register before January 20 at 5pm will be charged the discounted application fee of €30, which increases to €45 up to February 1. Once you have registered you have until February 1st to add and change your courses, free of charge. On May 5, the Change of Mind facility will open and you will have the change to change your courses, with certain restrictions, up to July 1 at 5pm.

Course choices

You have the option of filling in 20 courses in total – 10 choices on level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and 10 on level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees / Higher Certificates) and it is advisable to fill as many as you can to give yourself the best chance of being offered a place on a course you like.

It is essential though that you research carefully all the courses you are going to include. Often students are careful about their first couple of choices but don’t research the courses that are further down the list well enough. Don’t make this mistake. Every course you put down should be one that you are genuinely interested in and willing to do so consider all options carefully. The majority of level 7/6 courses have progression routes onto level 8.

Order of Preference

This is the golden rule of the CAO and a very common mistake made by students every year. Always put down your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points from the previous year. Points for courses change each year and you will not know the points for 2022 until the day that the Round 1 offers are issued by CAO, which is usually a couple of days after the Leaving Cert results come out. Also you don’t know what points you are going to get until those results come out and it will be too late to make changes to your CAO application at that stage.

Restrictions for the February 1 deadline

While you will get the opportunity to change your course choices later in the year, there are certain restrictions to take note of regarding the February 1st deadline. If you are applying for ‘restricted courses’ they must be added in by February 1as they require some other form of assessment apart from Leaving Cert points such as an aptitude test or a portfolio.

Such assessments are usually carried out between February & April. Students who are applying for Medicine must apply to do the HPAT by January 21 on https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/.

Any students applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) or DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes must have applied to CAO by February 1.

You then have until March the 1st to complete those applications and up to March 15 to have supporting documentation sent to CAO (see www.accesscollege.ie). In the case of mature applicants, most HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) require applications to be in by the February 1 deadline.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or email info@mycareerplan.ie

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