"Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Mayo parents join forces for Autism Specific School in West
By: Anna-Marie Flynn
MAYO is hoping to be home to a new autism specific school and one group of parents is determined to get the project off the ground.
A group of Mayo parents with children affected by autism have held several meetings within the county with a view to putting a proposal to Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin.
The group are currently working to raise awareness on the benefits of autism specific schools and particularly on Applied Behaviour Analysis.
Applied Behavioural Analysis or ABA, is the methodology based on the well-researched principles of operant and respondent conditioning. A key focus in ABA is to change behaviour and increase communication by using two components: teaching (utilizing Discrete Trial Training or DTT) and behaviour modification.
By utilizing repetition and ongoing evaluation of student performance, complex tasks can be learned in a simple step-by-step manner.
An autism specific school in Mayo would emulate other schools of its kind throughout the country such as The Red Door in Dublin or Saplings School, Kill, Kildare.
ABA schools have a 47 per cent success rate in mainstreaming children with autism and this reflects the success of the ABA system."