A Hope Montessori has been launched in St Munchin’s Community Centre Limerick. Hope is a Montessori for ASD and mainstream children. The children learn to develop their senses in Montessori. Through working together, the children learn important life lessons and children from the autism classes learn to socialise with mainstream children. The mainstream children learn the importance of acceptance of other’s needs. The Montessori is run throughout the school year.
The aim of the Montessori is to help parents and their child with ASD to accomplish as much as possible and the centre cover’s as much of the child’s needs under one roof as possible. The centre is for children between the age of 3 and 6 years who have been diagnosed with autism and who can’t find an appropriate school place or an early intervention centre. There are currently five children attending the Montessori, however, there is room to expand to 12 students, six in each classroom with four teachers in each.
A number of facilities are on offer including Speech and Language Therapy twice a month, play therapy twice a month, psychology review once a month, regular coffee mornings, daily and weekly report for each child, ABA and PECs, Montessori, Early Intervention, One to One sessions and after school activities.
Jennifer Sheridan from the Hope Montessori said “It’s gone really well so far. We have received such a welcome from St Munchin’s, they couldn’t be more helpful. I think they are really glad to have the kids there, we had an open day last week and they put on a really nice reception for us. Our kids are able to use the café there so they can work on their community skills. We do a lot of outings because there are a lot of facilities in the local areas like playgrounds so the kids can go out and work on their independence and social skills”
Since its establishment in 2005, St. Munchin’s Community Centre has promoted and developed community involvement within the Parish. They have developed a broad representative base within the community. The community centre receives funding and support from FÁS, the HSE and Limerick City Council without which the core activities would not be possible.
October 2016 saw St Munchin’s Community Enterprise Centre opening the St Leila’s Age Friendly Community Education Campus. The school was opened by Noel Earlier from the JP McManus Benevolent Fund. The school offers a Care of the Elderly Course QQI Level 5 supported by ETB, DSP, HSE & The Age Friendly Alliance and has never been done in Ireland before. The course has 8 modules and includes work placement.
The aim of the St. Leila’s Age Friendly Community Education Campus is to promote a positive approach to age-friendly education, with future plans to expand into education for early school leavers, merging youth and elderly educational services.
For more on St Munchin’s Community Centre click here
For more on Hope Montessori’s click here