Dating websites for learning difficulties

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The organisation paid for a resource teacher to visit the school.

Pat Clarke, chief executive, DSI, says the education of children with Down Syndrome has evolved hugely since then.

Jack attended a large school in Mayo for two years, but Bourke felt that he was lost in the system.

She decided to move the family to Clare in order to give Jack a better education, and ultimately a better chance in life.

It was very important that we challenged him as much as we could from the beginning, and we’ve done that.” The education of children with special needs has changed dramatically in the past decade.

The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act in 2004 provided that children with special educational needs should be educated, wherever possible, in an inclusive environment with children who do not have special educational needs.

Not all children will be suited to going into the mainstream setting.

Those with more severe levels of disability may need to go to a special school or special class within a school.

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Shannon Eidman, community outreach co-ordinator with Irish Autism Action, says the primary benefit of integration for children with autism is socialisation.

Jack has a special needs assistant (SNA) for 16 hours a week (though he did have to wait three months to be approved for these hours), and is the only child in his school with autism.

It hasn’t always been easy, however, and Bourke says the quality of a child’s education can depend on the school they go to.

For the past few years Jack has attended Clondrinagh National School in Clare, a small school with just 19 children. Although he has a learning disability and sensory processing disorder, he is no longer classed as severely autistic, but mildly autistic.

Much of his progress, according to his mum, is down to the education he has received at Clondrinagh.

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