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(Ireland) Autistic boy has no school place despite SPED class increase from 548 to 1459 in 8 yrs

Jan 29, 2019, Fury as autistic boy misses his place in Kildare schools because they are full Hundreds of people have pledged their support for a boy with autism who has been denied a specialised place in secondary school. … But unlike the rest of his classmates, Benjamin will not start secondary school in September as there are no places available in any of his local schools in Kildare. The primary school pupil who is currently in a specialised unit has been told that there is no special school nearby equipped to meet his needs for the next level of education. The local feeder school have two places for five children but they had to do a lotto system and Benjamin wasn’t picked. But the 12-year-old is not able to go to a mainstream school as he finds it difficult to cope with the noise of the classroom and to be around other children for prolonged periods. It prompted his mother, Siobhan Tynan, to demand that the State find Benjamin a place at a special school better equipped to meet his needs…. She told ‘We’re look for anything out of the ordinary for Benjamin — it’s just a basic human right that any child should have — and because he has autism and needs an (Autism Spectrum Therapies) unit.’ Siobhan and her husband Kevin have been told that they could get help home-schooling their son but they are refusing as he has the right to attend school like every other child in Ireland…. diagnosed seven years ago, everything the government has done to help seems to disappear in sixth class. … Posting on the petition page, Siobhan wrote: ‘Our son Benjamin is 12 and has autism, and is due to start post primary in September 2019, but has no school to go to. ‘Benjamin is entitled to attend school like any other child, but because he has autism, the department of education don’t think this. … When contacted for a response by, a spokesman for education minister Joe McHugh said that the Department does not comment on individual cases. In a statement, he said that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for the establishment of special classes in various geographical areas where there is an identified need, in consultation with the relevant education partners and the HSE. Since 2011, the spokesman said that 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 special classes for autistic children. In response, the spokesman said: ‘The NCSE is aware of emerging need from year to year, and where special class provision is required, it is planned and established to meet that need. This process is ongoing….


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