Scoil Phádraig Naofa in Bandon has been sanctioned an additional two extra classes for students with ASD, which will open in September 2014. Currently the school has an Early Intervention class for students with ASD aged between two and a half and six years. The two new classes will be dedicated to students with autism from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. There will be a total of three classes. The school has facilities to cater for 18 students with autism across the three classrooms, six in Early Intervention and 12 in class Junior 1 and Junior 2 (Juniors to Second class). Each class will have one teacher and the support from two special needs assistants.
The school has applied to the Department of Education and Skills for a new building to cater for the new classrooms, however until the build is complete, all three classrooms will be accommodated within the existing school with each class still having its own classroom within the existing school. The classes will be supported by Marian House, Brothers of Charity services. The students will receive services ranging from Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy to psychology. Currently, the Early Intervention class for students with ASD engage in activities like swimming, music therapy, drama, pony riding, tennis, GAA, hurling, horticulture, cooking, art/craft, as well as regular social outings to the local park/church/library/shops and restaurant. The early intervention teacher, Jerry Ryan, has recently completed a Masters Degree in Special Educational Needs in ASD. Integration of the students into mainstream classes is pertinent, as well as reverse integration. Each child will have their own individual work station and the teachers will use a variety of ASD teaching strategies and methodologies such as PECS, Lámh, ABA, TEACCH, PEP 3 etc.
The school would sincerely like to thank the Department of Education and Skills, as well as its own Special Education Needs Organiser Marian Donovan for granting its application and for all the support received.
To be enrolled in any of the three ASD specific classe, all that is needed is that a child has a diagnosis of ASD and a recommendation to be educated in an autism specific setting. For further information contact Anne Twomey (Principal) or Jerry Ryan (Class Teacher) on 023 8844708 or visit our website at www.spn.ie.