I remember when I was at school, children with special needs were kept in a different class to the rest of us, and as such we never really mixed. Many were even in a different ‘special’ school.
Later, I heard from my Mum (a primary teacher) that all children were going to be taught in the same classroom and that special assistants would be brought in to help the children that needed it. A good thing, of course.
Bless her cotton socks, as it was happening many years ago, Mum predicted that one day they would try and cut back brutally on the number of special needs assistants to save money, once people were used to having all children in the same class. I thought she was being alarmist, but once again, Mum was right!
If you care enough – there is something you can do. Join a protest group – this coming Wednesday July 13th, at the Kildare St entrance to the Dail, at 3pm. It’s a family friendly event, bring your kids (or someone else’s!), bring colourful banners, buy some balloons along the way.
There are a few different groups involved in organising the protest, including the Special Needs Parents Association. I heard about it through the Stephen Donnelly office.
This is a hard time of the year to get children and parents to a protest. Please spread the word to all the people you know with time on their hands that care about this. If the cuts go through, they will affect all children in primary school – let’s fill the streets and stop this cut.