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21-11-2019, 14:13   #1
THENORTHSIDER
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Irish Exemption for child on the autistic spectrum

My son attends a main stream school with classroom support. he is in 6th class and we recently enquired about getting him an exemption from Irish as his comprehension and understanding the complexities we believe will create addition anxieties as he transitions from primary to secondary school. His current learning is based on learning the spellings to be able to do his test on a Friday morning without comprehending meaning.

the principle has informed us that she won't forward our request to the exemption board as he doesn't fit the current Dept. of Ed criteria which is 1) born outside Ireland 2) below a certain percentile in English reading 3) having lived abroad for a number of years.

The principle stated that anxiety doesn't fit into these categories so she wont pursue the request. We understand the criteria but would like to appeal based on the possibility that my sons anxiety may prevent him from participating in mainstream education.

We can appeal based on process not being adhered to but can't appeal with respect to criteria. Any help or information welcome.

Last edited by THENORTHSIDER; 21-11-2019 at 14:37.
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14-12-2019, 12:54   #2
CraftySue
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Hi Northsider, the new guidelines, exemption maybe granted if he is under the 10th percentile in either reading comprehension, or spelling or word reading. From what you are saying he may fall under the 10th percentile in reading comprehension - ask the school to test your son in all 3 areas, he needs to fall under in one area. It would be interesting to know as well what test they use. The school is correct that you cannot appeal anymore in relation to anxiety, but they should have accepted your request, the parental request form is in the guidelines, and provided you with a written accptance or rejection and reason for rejection. You can appeal to the Irish exemptions Appeal commitee. Has your son a school support plan?
https://www.education.ie/en/Circular...l0052_2019.pdf
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16-12-2019, 13:12   #3
THENORTHSIDER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraftySue View Post
Hi Northsider, the new guidelines, exemption maybe granted if he is under the 10th percentile in either reading comprehension, or spelling or word reading. From what you are saying he may fall under the 10th percentile in reading comprehension - ask the school to test your son in all 3 areas, he needs to fall under in one area. It would be interesting to know as well what test they use. The school is correct that you cannot appeal anymore in relation to anxiety, but they should have accepted your request, the parental request form is in the guidelines, and provided you with a written accptance or rejection and reason for rejection. You can appeal to the Irish exemptions Appeal commitee. Has your son a school support plan?
https://www.education.ie/en/Circular...l0052_2019.pdf
reading comprehension, spelling and word reading is done through English and he wouldn't be below the 10th percentile. He doesn't comprehend the basic principles of Irish.

He attended a support pre-school for children an ASD and does receive resource but the principle won't support an application for an exemption.
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16-12-2019, 20:23   #4
CraftySue
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The principle is right I'm afraid, the new guidelines are very specific, unless your son is falling under the 10th percentile in spelling, reading or comprehension in English, or is attending a special class (not resource/learning support), they don't fit the criteria for an Irish exemption.
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17-12-2019, 07:40   #5
THENORTHSIDER
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Can't disagree CraftySue with respect to criteria but having spoken with other principles/teachers and medical professions who all believe that my son due to high stress levels could have an exemption. In the case of our local GP practice , both GP's in the practice have provided written support of our request. The principle has the choice to pursue but is hiding behind the criteria and pushing the decision down the road as it will not be their problem come June 2020.

Posting on boards I was hoping to see if anyone else was experiencing something similar.
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17-12-2019, 19:16   #6
CraftySue
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Hi Northsider, it was the case up until the new guidelines a case could be made for students with anxiety, but this option was taken away with the new guidelines this year . Last year your principle had that option to exempt based on anxiety , but not this year I'm afraid. Your best option is to ring the department, and maybe to try and appeal via the Irish exemptions Appeal commitee. If you are successful in obtaining an exemption, due to anxiety, let us know how, as many other children in same boat.
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17-12-2019, 19:22   #7
Dravokivich
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Those guidelines suck. Why would an exemption for irish, be dependant on proficiency in a different language?
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17-12-2019, 19:59   #8
CraftySue
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Exemption in Irish was generally for students who were experienceing difficulties in english literacy. Students who have dyslexia for example, may experience difficulties in Irish and other languages. Up until recently students who had a diagnosis of dyslexia and a psychological report would get an Irish exemption. The department of education want to move away from parents having to pay for expensive reports, so now its possible to look for an exemption if students are experiencing certain difficulties in literacy.
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18-12-2019, 14:12   #9
THENORTHSIDER
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Originally Posted by CraftySue View Post
Exemption in Irish was generally for students who were experienceing difficulties in english literacy. Students who have dyslexia for example, may experience difficulties in Irish and other languages. Up until recently students who had a diagnosis of dyslexia and a psychological report would get an Irish exemption. The department of education want to move away from parents having to pay for expensive reports, so now its possible to look for an exemption if students are experiencing certain difficulties in literacy.
English to date hasn't been an issue but his comprehension of Irish is non existent and he is putting himself under enormous pressure as he is attempting to learn off what is required by visual learning without understanding meaning. He spoke with our GP in recent weeks and as a result of the conversation he has been forwarded to CAMMS as there was a concern around depression.

We can't get into the system to plead our case due to criteria for exemption. Another principle has suggested that the principle we are dealing with could put our request forward and that way if its turned down we have the chance to appeal but the principle won't budge.

If this goes pear shaped we fear that it will impact on his future schooling and learning.

Last edited by THENORTHSIDER; 18-12-2019 at 17:13.
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18-12-2019, 14:17   #10
jimmycrackcorm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dravokivich View Post
Those guidelines suck. Why would an exemption for irish, be dependant on proficiency in a different language?
Turn it around and it is why would being proficient in one language hamper another?

As to OPs question, it might be better given the timeframe to wait until starting secondary school to see if you can get a better outcome.
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18-12-2019, 17:33   #11
THENORTHSIDER
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Turn it around and it is why would being proficient in one language hamper another?

As to OPs question, it might be better given the timeframe to wait until starting secondary school to see if you can get a better outcome.
feedback I have recieved jimmycrackcorm is that it is harder to achieve an exemption in secondary school, added to already high levels of stress French will now become an issue.

The principle suggested at our meeting that he only do half the Irish he is currently doing a to reduce the burden, I still don't know how the principle believes this would help in the long run. Meeting didn't last too long after that.
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18-12-2019, 18:22   #12
CraftySue
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Have you you sent in the parental request for Irish exemption form, Northsider, if not send it in. The principle must resond in writing one way or another in 21 days. If they reject your application / or do not respond in writing -state this in the appeal form which can be found at the end of the guidelines, as well as the reason, and any supporting documentation (photocopied) as to why you feel your son should have an exemption.
https://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Information/Irish-Exemption/exemptions-from-the-study-of-irish-guidelines-for-primary-schools.pdf

Then post or email your appeal to
e-mail: Irishexemptionappeal@education.gov.ie
post : Irish Exemptions Appeals, Schools Financial and Database Section, Department of Education and Skills, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 X659.

Best of luck

Last edited by CraftySue; 18-12-2019 at 18:28.
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19-12-2019, 23:54   #13
THENORTHSIDER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraftySue View Post
Have you you sent in the parental request for Irish exemption form, Northsider, if not send it in. The principle must resond in writing one way or another in 21 days. If they reject your application / or do not respond in writing -state this in the appeal form which can be found at the end of the guidelines, as well as the reason, and any supporting documentation (photocopied) as to why you feel your son should have an exemption.
https://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Information/Irish-Exemption/exemptions-from-the-study-of-irish-guidelines-for-primary-schools.pdf

Then post or email your appeal to
e-mail: Irishexemptionappeal@education.gov.ie
post : Irish Exemptions Appeals, Schools Financial and Database Section, Department of Education and Skills, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 X659.

Best of luck
THANK YOU
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