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Minister confident extra Autism places will be made available locally

May 18, 2022 13:05 By Shannonside News
Minister confident extra Autism places will be made available locally Minister confident extra Autism places will be made available locally
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The issue was raised in the Dáil this morning

A total of 11 children in Athlone and South Roscommon leaving primary school this summer have no autism specific place for September.

The lack of school places for children with autism in the Athlone area was raised in the Dail this morning by Roscommon TD Denis Naughten.

He outlined a lack of appropriate schools is forcing children in the south Roscommon area to travel up to 100Km each day in order to access educational services in Glenamaddy.

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Last week Longford Senator Micheal Carrigy also raised the issue in the Seanad and the Independent TD urged the government to urgently intervene:

''On average, these 11 Children are facing a combined weekly travel journey of over four and a half thousand kilometers to go to school because of the failure to provide autism classes in local schools, despite the fact that this was known to the department for the last eight years, Minister, this is just not good enough.''

Minister of State for Inclusion Josepha Madigan confirmed extra spaces will be provided locally for children with autism.

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'' There will be an opening of two new post primary special classes from September of this year in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal in Roscommon and also Scoil Mhuire Strokestown. So that would be an additional 12 places there as well. And for any of those children in Athlone, I think you may have mentioned that there are eight children in Athlone the  National Council for special education is also telling me that they will have sufficient capacity for those children for September of this year.''

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