‘The current System is failing Autistic children’ said Deputy Michael Lowry when he addressed the transition from Primary to Secondary school during Promised Legislation in the Dail this week.
‘The educational needs of children is something every parent takes very seriously. This is particularly so where a child has additional needs.
‘Across Tipperary, there are numerous children currently in final year in the Autism Units of Primary Schools. Secondary School enrolments are currently underway. Autism Units in Secondary Schools should be structured to be capable of accepting all pupils making the transition up from Primary Schools.
‘Parents want their autistic children to transfer to secondary schools that provide for their educational needs while incorporating the familiarity and security of the friends they made in primary school.
‘There is an abject failure by the State to provide sufficient places for autistic children when they graduate from Primary to Secondary School. The lack of space is the cause of huge confusion and distress amongst these children and their parents.
‘We need to fill this gaping gap in our Secondary School System as a matter of urgency’ Deputy Lowry said.
In response to Deputy Lowry, the Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion said that those who are having issues should engage with her Department or make contact with the National Council for Special Education.