Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (201, 202)

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

277 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science if the maximum support and assistance will be given to Enable Ireland school, Sandymount, Dublin 4, in granting a special needs assistant to a person (details supplied) and in granting support for more modern IT equipment; and if these will be made priority issues. [3956/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

I am anxious that all children, including the child in question, receive the resources appropriate to their needs. My officials are considering the application referred to by the Deputy and a response will issue to the school authorities as quickly as possible.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

278 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the waiting list for a special school for children with autism in Dublin 5; and if appropriate education will be available for a person (details supplied) from September 2004. [3957/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am anxious that all children, including children with autistic spectrum disorders receive education appropriate to their needs.

I understand from my officials that the pupil in question is enrolled in a special pre-school class for autism attached to a mainstream school in north Dublin. This class has a pupil teacher ratio of 6:1 and has the support of two special needs assistants. I further understand that ten hours' home tuition per week has been sanctioned for the pupil in question until the end of the current school year.

There are seven facilities in the State operating on a pilot-project basis and using alternative educational methods for teaching children on the autistic spectrum. Three of the seven are CABAS facilities, whose teaching method involves a comprehensive application of behaviour analysis to schooling approach.

A decision regarding the retention of these establishments will be made in light of an evaluation of provision for children with an autistic spectrum disorder carried out by my Department's inspectorate. It is envisaged that the outcome of the evaluation will be determined and a decision taken on the future of the facilities during the course of the current school year.

I understand that the pupil referred to by the Deputy is on a waiting list for the CABAS facility. Applications for enrolment in the CABAS project are a matter for the management of the facility.