Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (241)

Eoin Ó Broin


241. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the additional supports available to support a person with special needs (details supplied). [8191/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

It is the policy of this Department that all children with Special Educational Needs, 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.

Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appropriate educational interventions, delivered by fully qualified professional teachers, with the support of Special Needs Assistants and the appropriate school curriculum.

The greater proportion of children with ASD attend mainstream class, where they may access additional supports if required.

Some students with ASD, although academically able to access the curriculum in mainstream, may find it too difficult to manage full-time placement there and placement in an ASD special class should be considered.

Special school placements are provided for other students with ASD and very complex special needs who wouldn’t manage in a mainstream school even for part of the week. Enrolment of a child in a special school is based on a professional assessment in consultation with the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

My Department’s policy focuses on ensuring that all students with Autism, can have access to an education appropriate to meeting their needs and abilities.

The range of supports and services which are made available to support students with autism in schools include additional special educational support teaching, Special Needs Assistants support, funding for the purchase of specialised equipment, services of the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), enhanced levels of capitation in Special schools and Special Classes and additional teacher training.

Other resources which are provided to schools to support children with Autism include the following:

- Assistive technology.

- Professional development for teachers.

- Access to the Special School transport scheme.

- Access to special equipment and furniture where required.

- Enhanced capitation grant.

- Adapted school buildings.

- Access to the extended school year scheme. (July Provision)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports as required.

As the question raised by the Deputy relates to an individual child, I have arranged for this question to be forwarded to the NCSE for direct reply to the Deputy.