Tuesday 23 July 2019

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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Strides made at St Mary's

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019 4:15pm

April is Autism Awareness Month and at St Mary’s on the Hill NS in Knocknaheeny, the school is striving to raise awareness through its new autism spectrum disorder (ASD) classroom.

Tír na nÓg opened in September 2018 and the ASD classroom provides a nurturing safe haven where the children can venture outside their comfort zone when they are ready. It has been a welcome addition meeting the needs of children on the ASD spectrum.

ASD teacher Val Lynch said: “Essentially it means that we are able to tailor the integration of the children so that they can access the curriculum in an individualised way whilst remaining in mainstream education.”

St Mary’s on the Hill has made progressive strides in order to raise funds for the ASD classroom and sensory garden. Recently they held a concert in the Rochestown Park Hotel which raised significant funds. They are in the process of constructing a new ASD classroom. It will feature all the essential elements to assist the children and will cater to its current six kids, Ms Lynch and two special needs assistants, Orla Martin and Jennifer Morgan. Ms Lynch concluded: “We feel it important to highlight the immense steps that have been made in raising autism awareness within our school and the impact it has, not only for the children in the unit, but for the school as a whole.”

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