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(Ireland) 'Urgent need' for secondary places for AUTISTIC students; hundreds have none

Aug 31, 2018, Irish Times: Hundreds of autistic teenagers in ‘inappropriate’ schools ‘Urgent need’ to invest in secondary school places for such children, warns campaigner Hundreds of teenagers with autism are in “inappropriate” secondary schools, or not in school at all, due to a dearth of suitable places, a leading rights campaigner has warned. Adam Harris, who has autism and is founder and chief executive of AsIAm, said while there had been significant and welcome increase in supports at primary school level for children with autism, it was like “falling off a cliff” at secondary level. Across whole areas of south Dublin, until last year, not one secondary school had an autism unit. In addition there had been insufficient investment in “special schools” – deemed most suitable for some children with autism and additional complex needs…. Principal at Christopher’s national school, Carmel Dempsey, described as a “growing issue” the anxiety among parents of autistic children about whether they would secure a suitable secondary school place. Mr Harris said there was an “urgent need” to invest in appropriate secondary school places for children with autism and called for it to become mandatory on all mainstream secondary schools to provide spaces for autistic children….


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