I have called for at least one ASD unit to be introduced into every school nationwide that needs one

Currently in Ireland, approximately one child in 65 is diagnosed with autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is the name used for a specific set of behavioural and developmental problems and the challenges that go with them.

A diagnosis of ASD means that your child’s communication, social, and play skills are affected in some way which means they have specific educational needs.

Some parents are forced to drive miles to a school in another town or county to access a school with an ASD unit.

I have heard of other cases of children with autism who are currently not attending school due to a lack of a suitable placement. Other children have left school early due to a lack of places.

Studies show that children who do secure a place in an ASD unit can benefit greatly and make good progress. They learn at their own pace in a much smaller class size. Moreover, they get one on one attention in an environment tailor made for their needs.

Some units have access to a sensory room and children can also integrate with main stream classes where possible.

Children with autism have a right to an education in their own local school – as such I am calling on the Minister to make funding available to provide at least one ASD class per school nationwide.



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