My Department's policy is focused on ensuring that all children, including those with autism, can have access to an education appropriate to their needs, preferably in school settings through the primary and post primary school network.
The policy is to provide for children with special educational needs, including autism, to be included in mainstream schools unless such a placement would not be in their best interests or the interests of the children with whom they are to be educated. Some children may be supported in a special class attached to a mainstream school. These students have the option, where appropriate, of full/partial integration and interaction with other pupils. Other children may have such complex needs that they are best placed in a special school. The establishment of a network of autism-specific special classes in schools across the country has been a key educational priority in recent years. The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from primary and post primary schools for special educational needs supports, including the establishment of special classes in various geographical areas as required. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support.
Details of the special classes for children with autism, including details of special classes for children with autism in the Dublin 7 & 15 areas, are available on the NCSE website www.ncse.ie. The contact information details for individual schools is available on the Department's website http://www.education.ie/en/find-a-school.