A Celebration Like No Other!
Today we had a school graduation from our Edmund Rice Autism Centre like no other. Our ASD Centre in our school opened with one student, Dec Healy and today Dec graduated after 6 wonderful years from the Edmund Rice Centre with a Garda escort! Dec received his graduation booklet and cake from Garda John O’Connor and teacher Ms Orla O’Connor. Thank you to John O’Connor for really making this a special graduation. We are really going to miss Dec in our Edmund Rice Centre and we wish his happiness and success in the future.
The Edmund Rice Autism Centre at CBS Roscommon and its students and staff are an integral part of the school’s life and the local community. From the moment one steps inside the centre, the caring, nurturing atmosphere is unmistakable.
“It’s like the whole school has its arms around the centre,” explained Teacher Orla O’Connor. “The centre is a place for students with autism to flourish. We work with them one to one and we know their needs. Our aim is to bring them to a level that they are comfortable with, so that they can reach their full potential.”
Since the opening, the centre has gone from strength to strength with five students now attending, and it serves a large catchment area. As well as providing a sensory, an occupational therapy, and a life skills room, mainstream teachers regularly teach in the centre.
“There is also an outdoor space with raised beds, where we grow daffodils and vegetables. And we make our own soup from the vegetables.”
‘Reverse integration’ also sees the students with autism being taught in mainstream classrooms. This has been hugely successful and benefited all students, said Ms O’Connor.
The centre’s special needs assistants have created and provided an incredibly caring and supporting role for the students, Ms O’Connor added.
“There is a real caring atmosphere down here. Everyone is in it to help the boys reach their full potential.
“This is a relaxed environment. It’s all about reducing the stress that is in the students’ lives,” said Ms O’Connor, adding that the centre works closely with the “fantastic” Brothers Of Charity who provide speech and language, and occupational therapy.