26% Of Children With Autism Don’t Have Appropriate School Place

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The National Council for Special Education estimates that there are approximately 160 children national in need of a special educational needs place in school.

Parents have been campaigning for improvements in available services and supports for children with disabilities.

Many parents reported that they can avail of a place but sometimes this is a long distance from their local school where other siblings may be attending.

The NCSE could not give exact figure for how many must travel outside their catchment area for such a place.

Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan has committed to using special powers to ensure that places are provided where required.

The NCSE says it is working with a view to ensuring as much as possible that children will have a school place available in September. In 2021 there were 290 special classes operating nationwide catering for over 1,700 placements last year.

The autism charity AsIAm autism charity says that up to 26% of families of children with autism do not have an appropriate school place.

The issue was highlighted when a family appeared on Prime time on RTE to highlight the extreme consequences for the family due to a lack of educational supports for their 11 year old twins.

The Taoiseach, Micheal Martin offered the family an apology in the Dáil yesterday saying they had been failed by the State.