Moving to Ireland with special needs children: education resources
I had a very interesting question from a reader this week who is in the midst of planning a move to Ireland.
I am not sharing any personal information (not that I have much), but if anyone wants to chime in on this topic, please feel free to do so.
The question was as follows:
Liam: Thank you for providing detailed and accurate information about moving to Ireland. My oldest is severely autistic so we are researching schools and support in and around Galway, any help or direction?
I have received similar questions on more than one occasion, so I think it's best that I create a place on the site where it can be discussed, and information can be shared by me and by others.
Education resources in Ireland for children with special needs
My first recommendation for anybody researching education facilities for their child with special needs is to visit the website of The National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
From their website: The NCSE "was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children."
The website has a lot of very relevant information, including an informative FAQ section, a listing of all schools in Ireland who specialize in educating children with special needs, and a downloadable guide to choosing a school for your special need child. I think the school list will be of benefit to a lot of parents who are moving to Ireland, or even moving within Ireland. If you download the file, you will be able to search/browse for schools that cater to your child's need, in the locality/county you hope to move to.
In addition to the NCSE, your research for how good a fit a school/locality will be for your child should include some time spent reading the information provided by the following establishments.
Supports for Children with Special Educational Needs
National Behaviour Support Service
Irish Learning Support Association
National Disability Authority
Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
The Irish Learning Support Association
I know that the information provided here is not very detailed, and will only serve to get you started on your hunt for a good school for your child. This is certainly a topic that could do with more detail being added from someone who has personal experience in this area of education. If that's you, either as a parent, teacher, assistant, etc, please do get in touch (either with a comment below, or an email to me), and offer whatever information you can share, so that other's can benefit from it.