Wednesday, 1 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
578. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science when school placement will be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35609/06]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): My Department supports an eclectic approach to the education of children with autism where a range of teaching methods can be applied specific to the needs of individual pupils. The Deputy will be familiar with the variety of current provision in this regard which includes pre-school classes for children with autism, special classes for children with autism attached to special schools and mainstream schools, special classes for Asperger’s syndrome plus a range of supports for pupils with autism integrated in mainstream classes. A pilot scheme facilitated the establishment of 12 specific autism units nationwide and the child referred to by the Deputy is requesting placement in one of these units. Responsibility for enrolment policy lies with the individual Boards of Management.
The National Council for Special Education is working across the country to ensure that new services are put in place where needed so that children with special needs, including those on the autistic spectrum, have access to appropriate school-based provision. Details of the child in question have been forwarded to the council in this regard.
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