Feb 5, 2019, Dublin Live: Mother of boy with autism who can't secure school place fears families will be torn apart due to lack of support—The worried mum fears the strain is having a negative effect on many parents of children with autism https://www.dublinlive.ie/news/mother-boy-autism-who-cant-15784528 A desperate mum who can't secure a primary school place for her autistic son says she fears families could be torn apart due to the lack of services available for kids with disabilities. Cabra woman Rachel Power Gilligan's son Edward, 5, has autism and an intellectual disability. Edward is currently attending a pre-school in the area but will have to leave there in June. Rachel has been frantically trying to secure a primary school place for Edward but there are no available places in any ASD units in the local schools. Edward, 5, autism and an intellectual disability and non-verbal - had to keep in a playschool in Cabra for two years. She said: "The pre-school can only hold him until June. His name is down for loads of primary schools but there's no places. My child, from June, is basically out of school."… The worried mum fears the strain is having a negative effect on many parents of children with autism. "Families are breaking up over this. It is very hard on the poor children. You're going to have an awful lot of separated families because it's so hard." Rachel has tried to have Edward home schooled but it was not successful. … "I should have someone to help me teach Edward to use the toilet or talk, even though he can't talk," she said. … A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: "Since 2011, the NCSE has increased the number of special classes from 548 in 2011 to 1,459 across the country now, of which 1,196 are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) special classes. "The NCSE established 152 new ASD Special Classes for the 2018/19 school year….
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