No autism unit for Limerick

Willie O'Dea
Limerick Fianna Fail TD Willie O’Dea who has criticised the failure to provide an autism unit for Limerick primary schools.

No autism unit for Limerick

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Bernie English

by Bernie English

PLANS to have two special units to cater for children on the Autism spectrum in mainstream primary schools have fallen through, leaving Limerick as the only county in Ireland without any such units.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Deputy Willie O’Dea (FF), who had been liasing on the matter said it “beggars belief that 91 of these units were allocated for schools around the country recently yet Limerick still has none. Autism diagnoses are on the increase in Limerick just as they are in Dublin and elsewhere. Why is Limerick being discriminated against?”.

In answer to a question from Deputy O’Dea, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) – an independent agency with responsibility for processing applications from primary and post primary schools, – said it has no power to force schools to operate such units.

“The NCSE was engaged with 2 schools in the area to open classes for the 12/13 school year but the classes will not be going ahead. It is important to reiterate however that the NCSE are not currently aware of any children requiring a placement,” Deputy O’Dea was told.

“To say there are no children requiring a place in a special unit in a mainstream school is rubbish. I have parents who have contacted me about this very issue. I cannot see how the NCSE has come to this conclusion. There are more children being diagnosed every day and we need these classes in Limerick,” the Deputy said.

via No autism unit for Limerick | Limerick Post Newswrite.