Monday 5 December 2016

The SNA can't help but help against all orders

There is an SNA for every child this year, says Sarah Caden, but we haven't a clue about how much they really help

Sarah Caden

Published 04/09/2016 | 02:30

The Student Housing Company has sold out its apartment block for the coming year - at almost double the average paid in rent by Dublin students - one month after launching the Dublin City-based premises. Stock photo
The Student Housing Company has sold out its apartment block for the coming year - at almost double the average paid in rent by Dublin students - one month after launching the Dublin City-based premises. Stock photo

If your child started school this week, you'll have approached that classroom with more trepidation than they did. You know, after all, that our large classes are a huge challenge for a single teacher. You know that your "big" boy or girl is really just a baby. Then imagine how you'd have felt if your child had special needs.

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Luckily, as Richard Bruton announced earlier this year, every child with special needs will have access to a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) this year. This is lucky for those kids and your typical kids, who also benefit from another adult in the room. Not that, officially, SNAs help the other kids. Hell, SNAs aren't even, officially, supposed to be doing half the stuff they do for the kids with special needs. That's the truth.

"You'd have to love this job to do it," an SNA said to me last week. "The people who do it - mostly women, mostly mothers - fit a particular profile, and we don't just like our jobs, we love them.

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