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***(Ireland) Dublin Parents demand AUTISM SCHOOL; not enough classes to meet demand

Feb 27, 2019, Dublin People: Parents demand autism school http://www.dublinpeople.com/news/northsidewest/articles/2019/02/27/4169888-parents-demand-autism-school/ A GROUP of parents with autistic children who are campaigning for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Specific school in Dublin 15 say the results of a recent survey backs their cause. The group conducted the survey of primary and secondary school principals in the area and found 68 percent of them believed they had students who would be better placed in an ASD school. The survey of all primary and secondary schools in Dublin West carried out last December found that 103 out of 177 (59 percent) of children in ASD classes never access mainstream education. The Autism School Dublin 15 Committee, made up of parents and experts in autism, say providing autistic children with mainstream education was one of the core aims of ASD classes when they were first established. The committee is now calling for an autism specific school to cater for preschool, primary and secondary school age children in the Dublin West area. Senior educational psychologist, Dr Helen Connaughton, says The majority of children with moderate to severe autism are non-verbal and spokesperson for the committee, Síle Parsons, says mainstream education simply can’t cater for many of them…. “The children with more complex needs are being forced into an educational environment that is not able to cope with their needs and as such - as was confirmed in our survey - up to 20 students are on continually reduced hours with others being excluded from the school altogether.” Parsons also points out that there also isn’t enough classes to cater for the number of children with ASD….