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Secondary School Options

Autism and Secondary Education

Transition from primary school to a bigger new school can be daunting for every student but especially students who have ASD and who can be resistant to changes in their routine and new environments.

A range of resources are available to facilitate the transfer of 6th class students into secondary school to relieve the associated anxiety.

The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) has produced three very useful documents on the transfer from primary to post-primary which are available on their website at:

The documents are:

  • A transfer profile which can be used to share information between primary and post-primary schools

  • An information pack for the transfer of information to post-primary school

  • Sample transfer programmes and workbooks which can be used to prepare students for the move

  • It is important that you work with these documents in conjunction with the school.

School placements are the same as they are for primary school, i.e. 6 options available to the student.

  1. Mainstream

  2. Mainstream with an SNA (Special Needs Assistant)

  3. ASD Class to Mainstream

  4. ASD class attached to Special School

  5. Special School

  6. Home Tuition/Home Schooling

Transport to and from school is signed off by the SENO whereas the escort who travels with the student to and from school is employed by the school.

The Special Education Support Service (SESS) has produced a transition booklet which includes useful strategies for familiarising students with the post-primary routine; for settling in and getting to know classmates; or learning how the school works. This booklet is available on the SESS website and can be tailored to specific schools. It is beneficial if both the student and the school to work on these transition programmes together.

Please refer to our Resources Directory for a listing of all ASD classes in post primary schools in Co. Meath and Co. Louth.


What is the NCSE and who is the SENO?

The NCSE stands for the National Council for Special Education. It was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children. The Council was first established as an independent statutory body by order of the Minister for Education and Science in December 2003.

The NCSE local service is delivered through their national network of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) who interact with parents and schools and liaise with the HSE in providing resources to support children with special educational needs.

It is really important that you contact the SENO for your area to let them know that you are looking for a school place for your child. They won’t be able to identify a place but will give you the current list of all the schools and ASD classes in the area. The SENO is also the person who signs off on the school place once it is allocated and also on transport and any additional resources that are needed.

Please see our Directory of Service for the listings of the SENOs’ in your area.

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