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(Ireland) Kildare parents apply to 9 schools for autistic son; reach dead end

Mar 5, 2024, KFM Radio: Frustration Mounts For Kildare Family As Autism Class Search Hits Dead End

In Kildare, parents are already struggling to secure secondary school places due to shortages.


It leaves us in a place of great uncertainty.


That's according to the Clane mother of a child with autism struggling to secure a specialised autism class for her son.


Speaking on Kildare Today, Grainne Plaxton expressed her frustration at being unable to find a spot in an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) class anywhere in the county for her 12-year-old son Alex.


She has applied to seven schools in North Kildare and two schools outside the county.


Despite attending additional needs preschools in Naas and Maynooth, Alex was fortunate to enroll in an autism class in Prosperous, 6km away from home.


However, a recent psychological assessment recommended an autism class within a mainstream secondary school for Alex.


In North Kildare, parents are already struggling to secure secondary school places due to shortages.


Despite applying to nine schools, Ms. Plaxton could only find an ASD placement 35km away in Co. Offaly, deemed unsuitable for Alex.


She penned a letter to Education Minister Norma Foley, urging her to initiate the establishment of a new autism class at the nearby school in Clane, with the aim of having it operational by September.


She said there has been no update from the Department of Education, that she has just received generic responses.


Kfm has contacted the Department of Education for comment.



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