Full primary school placement for children with diagnosed ASD to be provided at Gaelscoil in Clonakilty


Posted on: 6th May, 2014

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: There is a full range of facilities with an occupational therapy hall, two speech therapy rooms, a €43,000 multi-sensory room (pictured above), a para-educational room, two quiet rooms and three specially designed classrooms.

With a reputation for educational excellence and a new state-of-the-art school building, enrolments at Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty have continued to grow each year. Nineteen years after Gaelscoil Chloch na gCoillte opened in a holiday home with one teacher and 20 children, the school now boasts 318 pupils and 32 staff.

What many may not be aware of is that the school also has an Early Intervention Class and Autism Spectrum Disorder Class with exceptional facilities for children with Special Needs. Children from the age of two-and-a-half to 12 years are catered for in these classes in the school. A class dedicated to children from third to sixth class has just been sanctioned by the Department of Education and Skills, which means that from September 2014, a full Primary school placement for children with diagnosed ASD will be provided at Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin – the only service of its kind in the West Cork area.

There are nine pupils in the Special Education Classes at present. Children from 2.5 years are catered for in the Early Intervention Class and Junior Infants to Second Class children in the next class.

“We have facilities for 18 children, six in Early Intervention, six in Junior class and six in Senior class,” explains School Principal Carmel Nic Airt. “All that’s needed for a child to attend is a diagnosis of Autism and a recommendation to be placed in an autism specific setting.”

Each class has one teacher and two special needs assistants with WCCDS regularly providing Occupational and Speech Therapy services.

Services to the children are through to the medium of English. There is a full range of facilities with an occupational therapy hall, two speech therapy rooms, a €43,000 multi-sensory room, a para-educational room, two quiet rooms and three specially designed classrooms. Each child has his/her own dedicated workstation. There is also a shower room, changing area and toilet facilities. Outside facilities include a soft play area that is integrated with the Infant classes. English, Music and Maths lessons are also integrated with mainstream classes.

Carmel explains that a feature shared by many of the children with Autism is that they are non-verbal, therefore communication is a huge everyday challenge. “One of the things we’re most proud of is that one of the little boys, now four, who was completely non-verbal when he started with us a year ago, now uses language to make his needs known. Something in the multi-sensory room triggered his speech, which is now also transferring to situations outside the room.”

For more information call the school at 023-8834882.

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Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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