June news from SNPA

Call to Action- demonstrations planned against the latest cuts to Special Education

The Special Needs Parents Association is calling for ALL parents to attend demonstrations next Wednesday 26th June across the country.
Yet again the government has targeted children with special educational needs by imposing another 10-12% cut in their resource hours from September, on top of the 15% reduction sanctioned since 2011. Mainstream schools, already struggling to cope, will have to decide how best to share scant resources among pupils who are entitled to 25% MORE help than they will actually receive with an increase of 8,500 extra pupils qualifying for resource hours since 2011.
Reports are coming from parents of SNA hours being cut from pupils whose needs have not changed, making it increasingly more difficult to successfully progress through school.
- The financial allocation for special education needs in 2011 was €1.3 billion and the allocation in 2013 is €1.3 billion
-The number of children requiring resource teaching hours will rise by 4,000 from 2012 to 42,500 for the coming school year
- 2,000 additional children will need SNAs in September (22,000 children in total)
-Children with special needs are being suspended and expelled from mainstream schools that can no longer cope without adequate supports
-Children qualifying for July Provision this year who also have siblings that qualify, are being discriminated under the "class grouping" principle by being given a single allocation of 40 hours to share without taking into account that no SNAs are provided in the home setting to support a tutor with 2 or more children. In schools providing July Provision, each class of 6 children gets one tutor & 2 SNAs.
-Children with special needs are one of the few groups in society being asked year on year to do more with less resources without considering the long term impact

                 Please come out next Wednesday and shout
                   No Supports, No Education, No Future
For details of demonstrations taking place across Ireland click HERE

Mobility Allowance

The government has announced that the Mobility allowance and motorised transport payments will continue to be made, pending the establishment of new schemes.
An inter-departmental group is to be set up to make detailed recommendations on how the new scheme should operate and in the meantime, the HSE will continue to make payments under the existing system.
Read more HERE

AEDs and Generic Substitutes

Epilepsy Ireland has produced a new leaflet explaining about generic substitution of drugs. Whilst it is considered safe to substitute many types of drugs for generic versions, this is not so for anti-epilectic drugs (AEDs)  because even the smallest change in composition can detrimentally affect seizure control. The leaflet "Accept no Substitute" explains what steps you can take to avoid generic substitutions.

Back to School Allowance

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a means tested payment made once a year to assist with the cost of uniforms and footwear. Information on the payment and application forms are available on the website. If you recieved the payment last year you might qualify automatically for this year in which case you should have recieved a letter confirming that the payment will be made in July. If you have not recieved confirmation you will need to reapply.

Website news

Allan Cuthbert, a Financial & Trust Planner has advice about what to include in a Letter of Wishes for your child. 

Clubs and Activities
We have added a new section to the website with information on clubs and activities around Ireland for people with special needs. 
Summer Camps
Take a quick look at all of the camps and activities running over the summer across Ireland that may be suitable for your child. Sign up fast as spaces tend to be limited.
Travel Tips
Travelling at home or abroad with kids can be stressful at the best of times. Check out our top travel tips and remember....preparation is the key to reducing stress. Enjoy the Summer Holidays where ever you end up this year.

VCSF Education Foundation's International Conference

22q11 Ireland will be hosting the VCFS Education Foundation’s International Conference in Dublin from 18th-21st July. The main theme of the conference is the “Celebration of Differences” covering topics including Speech & Language, mental health Issues and neurological sciences all in relation to Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome. For more details about the conference see here 
Amongst the guests at the conference will be reknowned photographer Rick Guidotti of Positive Exposure.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The EHIC is FREE and allows the holder to access healthcare if they become ill or injured when travelling to other EU or EEA countries. Anyone who is living in Ireland or intends to live here for a year can apply for an EHIC from the HSE. The Card does not cover the cost of treatment in a private setting and doesn't entitle you to travel abroad with the aim of getting healthcare through the public system. Illness or an accident abroad may mean extra travel and accommodation costs so it is advisable to take out private insurance for your trip.
For more information and to apply on line click HERE
A huge THANK YOU to the fab ladies who participated in the Flora Women's Mini Marathon on behalf of Special Needs Parents Association. Their fundraising efforts will go a long way towards helping us to continue to spread the word about SNPA and help more parents by providing support and information. If you are interested in running a fundraising event, check out our profile on and set up a personalised sponsorship page.
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