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It’s a long summer when there’s no support for children with special needs

Sarah Caden


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‘My daughter’s school finished today for the summer,” a mother named Maria told me on Thursday. “And we’re facing into 13 weeks of lockdown again. In the pandemic, people were freaking out about lockdown, but we’re used to this because it’s our normal. If our daughter isn’t in school, we’re in lockdown.”

On paper, Maria’s teenage daughter, who attends an autism suite in a post-primary school in the east of the country, qualifies for the Department of Education’s Summer Programme, which offers either a school-based or home-based programme to primary and post-primary students with complex needs.


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