Belfast – Michelle Bailie, is mum to a three-year-old little boy who has autism. After she was informed that her son, Jacob, would not be getting full time hours at nursery she decided to set up a petition.
Jacob attends a special needs nursery and his hours have been slashed.
The South Eastern Education and Library Board have decided to reduce nursery hours at Tor Bank School in Dundonald and Clifton Special School in Bangor, with sessions now ending at 11.30am instead of 1.30pm.
Ms Bailie told that Jacob’s statement entitles him to a placement at the nursery, she further adds:
“It was a purpose-built school for the growing number of children with special needs but we have been told it is already full to capacity.”
Ms Bailie’s petition now has more than 1,100 signatures. The petition states:
‘My son, like many of his peers who will be attending Tor Bank and Clifton is non verbal and unable to communicate his most basic of needs. Many of these children have various physical, behavioural and medical needs. They require intense, consistent and individualised intervention which will aid their educational, social and emotional development. These new 2.5 hour sessions will make it impossible to meet our children’s crucial needs which will have a profound effect on their development in their formative years!’
Ms Bailie tells that it is not possible to meet her son’s needs in the new reduced hours and that early intervention is vital for children with additional needs.
“One of the issues with autism is social development, now they have lost the opportunity to sit around the table with their peers and have lunch,”
The petition,Do not deprive our children with special needs of their full time nursery education, can be found here.
Source: Sarah Scott: Mirror online: Mum left disgusted after autistic son’s special needs nursery hours are slashed