Our Autism Pre-School
The Autism Pre-school class in St. Finbarr’s, established in September 2016, caters for boys from the ages of 3-5 years of age with Autism. The class is supported by a Class Teacher and two to three Special Needs Assistants. There is a maximum of six children in the class.
Communication and Language
There is a strong emphasis on supporting and aiding Communication and Language. Through the use of Pecs, Visual timetables and Lámh. Each child has their own work station in the classroom where they practice fine motor skills, Literacy, Numeracy and Independent activities. Social skills are encouraged at the group table, where the children take part in group and circle time activities, and eat their lunch each day together.
The boys engage in gross motor skills, activities and play in an indoor play area. We were very lucky to get a brand new sensory room in February 2020, a relaxing space where the boys can unwind and self-regulate. We also have a designated outdoor space for the pre-school boys during yard time.
Integration is encouraged, and some children visit Junior Infants to take part in enjoyable activities there. The boys from the older classes such as 5th and 6th class visit and help out in our class at certain times too. The boys are very kind and helpful towards our class and read to them or play with playdough or sand and Lego with them.
Children in our Pre-school then transition onto Junior Infants in St. Finbarr’s, after they turn five years of age, or move to a Primary Autism Class/Unit in one of the nearby local schools, depending on which setting is best for the child’s needs.