Pupils bloom in new autism unit

Jenna Dooley at class in St Patrick's de la Salle National School. Photo: Pat Moore.
Imagine friendly helpers to guide you and a few friendly fellows to join in the fun. Imagine this is the place where you start school. For adults of a certain age such schools were the stuff of dreams but for children in St. Patrick’s De La Salle, Kilkenny it is a reality and it’s going to get even better.

Imagine friendly helpers to guide you and a few friendly fellows to join in the fun. Imagine this is the place where you start school. For adults of a certain age such schools were the stuff of dreams but for children in St. Patrick’s De La Salle, Kilkenny it is a reality and it’s going to get even better.

For some children, attending mainstream schools is particularly challenging. De La Salle is meeting the needs of these children with its new ASD class. Here boys and girls can learn in a setting that meets their needs. Ms Catherine Harkin, a skilled and dedicated teacher, and her two Special Needs Assistants, Katrina Lowry and Éadaoin Phelan, provide a happy learning environment for children who find change a challenge. The four pupils integrate with their fellow Junior Infants at play time every day, and in class when necessary. At other times they benefit from the individual care and attention they need to relate to the world around them. De La Salle is embarking on a building project to further enhance the facilities. Two state of the art classrooms, accommodating six children each, will be built in the coming months. Each room will be staffed by a teacher and two assistants and equipped to the highest standard and the second in the city, alongside the one in St. Canice’s NS.