Open an ASD Class in all Irish Primary & Secondary Schools.
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ASD Classes are classes in mainstream schools that cater for children on the autistic spectrum. There are also early intervention classes for children of pre-school age. Each class has six children with one teacher and a minimum of two special needs assistants. Some of these units also have sensory rooms attached.
Although the number of these classes has increased, there are not enough schools throughout the country with these classes.
At present there are lots of children with autism who do not have access to a place within an ASD class. There are very few schools with classes and huge waiting lists in the ones that do.
Parents often have to bring their children to school in another county, town or miles away from their home to access a school with a class. Other parents who cannot get a place for their child have had to apply for home tuition and educate their children at home isolated from other children.
Autism classes in mainstream schools have a lot of benefits both for children with autism and the whole school.
Children with autism can access an education and be included in their own local school. They will not have to travel outside their own community just to go to school.
It gives them the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in a smaller class environment that suits their needs.
They can integrate into a mainstream class where possible, access the full school curriculum, progress and reach their own full potential.
It will help children with autism to feel included, to make friends and help develop their independence and confidence.
Other children in the school will get an understanding of the condition. They learn that everyone is different and that's ok and that some children have different learning needs.
Teachers will get an understanding of the condition and will learn to work with children of different abilities. They help children with autism to reach their potential, develop their talents and progress in school. It will provide opportunities for training of teachers and also job opportunities for special needs assistants.
ASD classes should be in all schools where they are needed with the number of children being diagnosed with autism rising.
Every child has a right to an education that meets their needs and although some children with autism are in mainstream classes, others need the support of a ASD class.
Please support this, it would make a huge difference in the lives of children with autism and families of children with autism.
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