Advice for students with special needs
Ireland's first guidelines to help parents and children with special needs to make successful transitions in education have been published.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) issued the wide-ranging guidelines, which offer advice on adapting to changes on entering primary and secondary school, as well as preparing for life after education.
Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said: "Transition between schools can be a difficult time for all parents and students, including those with a special educational need," she said.
"These excellent guidelines provide a wealth of information to parents, students and everyone who works in the sector."
The NCSE has launched four sets of guidelines for parents and children and one document to assist schools when welcoming students with special needs.
Mary Byrne, Head of Special Education with the NCSE, said the guidelines were prepared after consultation with parents, who felt they needed assistance in preparing for transitions in education.
She added that advice for moving to post-primary was especially needed.
Ms Byrne advises families and pupils to "plan ahead and plan well" in conjunction with schools.
"If the child has a physical disability, the school may need to be adapted for that child," she said.
"Plan ahead, plan early, but plan with the school," she added.
The guidelines are available on www.ncse.ie.