Special Classes for Autism / ASD


Scoil Mhuire currently has three special classes to cater for children on the autistic spectrum. We have named our three special classes, Cairde 1, Cairde 2 & Cairde 3.

  • Cairde 1: Early Intervention
  • Cairde 2: Junior Class for children on the autistic spectrum
  • Cairde 3: Senior Class for children on the autistic spectrum

The provision for catering for children on the autistic spectrum in Scoil Mhuire was established in September 2017. The second class opened in September 2019 and the third class in September 2020.

Each class caters for a maximum of six pupils. One teacher and two special needs assistants are allocated to cater for the needs of the six pupils within the class.

Cairde 1 – Early Intervention Class

Early intervention classes are available for children aged 3-5 with autism spectrum disorder.

Early intervention classes follow the Junior/Senior Infant Day i.e. 4 hours 40 minutes each day.

Schools, in consultation with parents, may reduce the length of the school day for 3 year olds who are unable to manage a full day in the early intervention setting.

Early intervention classes are intended to provide early support for children with ASD before they start school.

Following early intervention children will attend a mainstream class unless there is professional guidance that they require a special class.

Please note: A child’s attendance in an early intervention class is not, and should not be taken as, an indication that the child will require access to a special class when he/she enrols in primary school.

In the case of an early intervention class for ASD, the professional report must state that the child has been diagnosed with ASD – the requirement for the report to state that the child has complex or severe learning needs requiring the support of a special class setting, is not necessary in this case.

Cairde 2 & Cairde 3

Cairde 2 & Cairde 3 cater for those children for whom it has been recommended that they attend a special class for ASD attached to a mainstream school.

Pupils in these classes will integrate with their mainstream class appropriately in the best interest of each and every individual child.

Indoor Facilities

  • Cairde 1, Cairde 2 & Cairde 3 are three fully furnished purpose built classrooms to cater for the specific needs of children on the autistic spectrum.
  • Each room has its own designated quiet room, where children can avail of some quiet time or have a nap.
  • Each room also has spacious toileting areas and changing areas.
  • Each room also has access to a fully equipped kitchen with cooking and washing facilities.
  • We are very fortunate to have a fully equipped purpose built Multi- sensory room funded by the Department of Education and Monaghan Lions Club.
  • We also have a purpose built Halla Spóirt where the children have very adequate space to practice gross motor control activities and have some fun.

Outdoor Facilities

  • Cairde 1 & Cairde 2 have their own secured sheltered outdoor spaces where they can be outdoors and yet be protected from the inclement weather.
  • Adjacent to the sheltered areas is a secure enclosed playground area where the children have access to climbing frames, ladders, stepping logs, swivel chair, trampoline and slide.
  • We also have direct access to the astro –turf from the school grounds.

Future Planning

Our plans for the future include the provision of a sensory garden, out-door classroom and a well-being area.

Summer Provision

Scoil Mhuire provides for an additional two weeks Summer Camp in June and July for children who attend the Cairde Classes. The details of the activities planned for the two weeks are communicated to the parents prior to the commencement of the Summer Programme. These will include details of activities, visiting tutors, outdoor activities and trips.