Dáil Éireann - Volume 612 - 15 December, 2005

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

  311. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22 will be investigated. [39716/05]

  Ms Hanafin: The home tuition scheme is primarily intended to provide compensatory instruction for pupils who have a medical ailment that is likely to cause major disruption to their attendance at school. In this context, my Department provides home tuition grants in respect of pupils who cannot attend school at all, or who are absent for a significant proportion of the school year. My Department also sanctions home tuition in cases where children are awaiting a suitable school placement.

The child referred to by the Deputy was previously placed in a special school and was also availing of a number of hours home tuition grant each week to facilitate his access to the applied [1389] behavioural analysis method of intervention. At this stage the child has now enrolled in the autism centre referred to by the Deputy and this centre provides tuition to children with autism predominantly through the ABA method. In the circumstances there is no longer any reason why a home tuition grant would also be necessary.

My Department provides funding to the autism centre in question on the basis of one tutor for every child that is enrolled. In the circumstances I am satisfied that this centre is sufficiently well resourced to provide whatever level of one to one support is required for this child.

At this stage, I would advise the parents of this child to raise the issue of the centre providing their child with an appropriate level of one to one support with the centre. It is important that parents engage directly with the people responsible for the education of their children on an ongoing basis, whether this be in mainstream primary schools or in the type of autism centre referred to by the Deputy.