Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (362)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

362. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a three year old child who has been diagnosed with ASD can be allocated home tuition hours even if there is a place available in an early intervention or ASD setting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13630/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

ASD Early intervention classes are intended to provide early support for children with ASD before they start school. Following early intervention, children will attend a mainstream class unless there is professional guidance that they require a special class or a placement in a special school.

ASD Early intervention classes are available for children between 3 and 4 years of age with an ASD diagnosis and children over 4 years of age with an ASD diagnosis and a recommendation for an early intervention placement (who will not reach the age of 6 during the school year).

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist and advise parents and identify available placements.

Where the NCSE confirm that an Early intervention class placement is not available, my Department’s Home tuition grant scheme provides funding towards a compensatory educational service, as an interim measure, until a placement is available.

Home Tuition should not be regarded as an optional alternative to a school placement.

My Department’s preferred approach is that children are educated in school settings where children may have access to fully qualified teachers, individualised education programmes, special needs assistants, school curriculum with the option, where possible and appropriate, of full or partial integration and interaction with other students.

Home Tuition is not available where the NCSE confirm that an Early intervention class placement has been identified.

Failure to enrol a child in an identified placement will not give rise to eligibility under the scheme. Similarly, the child will not be eligible to participate in my Department’s July provision Scheme.