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Kathleen Funchion TD calls for meeting with Minister to discuss lack of ASD Unit spaces

30 April, 2018 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin’s Education spokesperson, Kathleen Funchion TD has called on the Government to address the lack of spaces available in ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Units for children who need them.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Funchion said;

“I am hugely disappointed to learn that this issue is a national issue, where children who need a space in an ASD unit cannot get one.

“Parents are applying to all schools in their county to try to secure a space for their child. 

"Some schools could be up to an hour and a half away which is not practical at all where there are siblings attending the local school, or if the child became ill during the day and needed collecting urgently.

“In a situation where a place cannot be secured the child may then be allocated a home tutor which does not provide for any of the social aspects that come with attending school but also is not available to families who are in emergency accommodation or are homeless.

“A group of Sinn Féin TDs and Senators met last week to discuss this issue as it is affecting families across all constituencies and we have asked for a meeting with Minister Finian McGrath and requested that this issue be addressed by the Joint Committee for Education and Skills.

“The Government recently ratified the UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities and equal access to education for all children is a right, not a privilege so I urge the Government to look at this issue and put in place the resources required for schools to meet the need that is so obviously there.

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