School > ASD Unit
Naomh Bríd - ASD Unit
Naomh Bríd is an Autism Unit attached to the mainstream school. It caters for 12 children who have been diagnosed with A.S.D. The pupils range in age from 4-13 yrs and are all from the Laois area.
The Unit consists of two specially adapted classrooms, a kitchen, multi-sensory room, soft- play room, toilets and ancillary rooms. It is staffed by 2 full-time teachers and 5 special needs assistants.
Naomh Bríd has been named in honour of the Brigidine Sisters who donated land to the extension. It is the first of its kind in Laois and now ensures that children no longer have to travel to Kildare or Offaly to receive the care they need.
Money was funded by the Department of Education for the building only. Thanks to a huge amount of fundraising by the local community and Laois/Offaly families for autism (LOFFA) we were able to kit out our unit with the basic requirements. We were also very lucky to have resources for our soft-play room sponsored by the local Abbeyleix Women's Group. Unfortunately because the equipment needed for Naomh Bríd is so specialised it is also very expensive and therefore, we are continuously fundraising.
It is very important for all children with ASD to have a safe and structured learning environment that adopts different teaching and behaviour strategies specific to the children's individual needs. In Naomh Bríd we have adopted the TEACCH programme, we also use elements of ABA, lámh, PECS, social stories etc.. We consult with the professionals working with the children, for example, speech therapists, physiotherapists & psychologists in implementing specific programmes to address specific needs.
In Naomh Bríd we follow the National Curriculum, but also teach programmes such as social skills, play, life skills & swimming. Children attend the mainstream class each day to their best capability. It is our aim to help each child develop to their fullest potential.
Naomh Bríd was officially opened in December 2009 by the then Minister for Education Mr Batt O'Keeffe.