In September 2016 we opened an early intervention class for children with ASD. We called the class ‘Sonas’. A maximum of six children can attend the class with one teacher and two snas (special needs assistants). Children aged between 3 – 5 years can attend.
We set up the class with the teacch principles in mind but a mixture of teacch, ABA and the aistear principles are used to structure the learning environment of the class.
We have a sensory/activity room and an outdoor sensory garden available to the children, as well as having all the other facilities from the school available including the indoor hall and AstroTurf.
While each child works on their own I.E.P. (individual education plan) we generally focus on the following areas in our learning;
-social skills – communication, interaction, flexibility
-Sensory, motor, behaviour skills
-Self management skills
A copy of the enrolment policy and application process can be found here.
Take a look at some of the fun in our class this year here!
April 2nd is World Autism Day. We celebrate this each year in the school. Each year we do different activities in the school.
In 2018 we had a full week of activities and learning for the children in the school. The children learned about many aspects of autism and completed many art projects around the theme of awareness and inclusion. On the last day of this week the hall was set up with lots of information and art projects. There were also many experiential tables where people were given the opportunity to experience some of the difficulties and sensory experiences a person with autism may have. All the children in the school were given the opportunity to attend. Parents were also invited to attend. It was a very successful and enjoyable week.
In 2019 we focused on the awareness day itself and encouraged all children and staff to wear blue for the day. We also made a video with the children in Stonehall school and Stepping Stones preschool. the aim of the video is to promote awareness of autism as well as promoting inclusion of all children. A certain amount of information around autism is also shown (credit; asiam.ie). As we edited the video the highlight for everyone was the happiness that can be seen in everyone’s faces.