Pre-School Supports

Pre-school supports for children with autism

Through St. Josephs Foundation there are a number of options for pre-school supports, that as a parent you can avail of for your child, if they are already attending the services here.

Padre Pio Pre-school

Padre Pio Pre-school, is a specialised pre-school on the campus, in St. Josephs, for children with complex needs. Children who attend may be medically fragile or have behaviour that challenges. Placements can be long term or short term.

Children may attend for a short while to gain skills that will enable them to attend a mainstream pre-school setting. Some children have dual attendance in which they attend Padre Pio part-time and their local mainstream pre-school part time.

Staff include a nurse, Montessori teacher, early childhood teachers, and behaviour specialist.

Therapists working in the Early Intervention Team provide therapy in the pre-school setting and liaise with staff there to develop programme specific to each individual child.

Places in Padre Pio are in demand and so attendance must be limited to a maximum of 3 days per week.

Mainstream Pre-school Supports

St Joseph’s Early Intervention team will also help to support you and your child if they are attending a mainstream pre-school through the provision of preschool facilitators (where deemed necessary) or through meeting with the preschool to discuss your own child individual needs so that they can get maximum benefit and enjoyment from their time in preschool. 

AIM Programme

This was introduced in July 2016 by Dept. of Youth and Children.

The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme.  Its goal is to empower service providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that every eligible child can fully participate in the ECCE programme and reap the benefits of quality early years care and education.

Seven levels of support from universal information, to specialized advice to grants to provide additional staff in room. http://aim.gov.ie/ 

Staff in St. Josephs are familiar with this programme and are working closly with preschools to provide supports for children to access preschool under the supports of this model.