Autism Spectrum Disorder - Some FAQs

What is ASD? 

ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a difference in the way a person’s brain develops. Autism is a developmental condition which means that the way a person communicates, interacts and understands other people, and the world, is different to those who do not have the condition. It can be described as a “spectrum” which means it impacts different people in different ways.

How are those with ASD unique? 

Some people may have difficulties with certain activities but may have strengths in other areas. Common characteristics that autistic people share are that they may have difficulty with social interactions, communicate differently or have sensory processing differences, such as struggling with certain sounds or smells. They also may have many strengths such as highly focused interests, strong memory and be very detail oriented. 

For example, a teenager with ASD may be a computer or science whiz, but may have difficulty in social situations or playing on a sports team. Remember, a student with ASD is just another teenager who wants to be respected as an individual, have friends and have fun.

What is an ASD class? 

Autism Classes are small classes which specifically cater for students attending schools with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum. 

The purpose of the ASD class is to assist students with ASD to leave school with the skills necessary to live independent and fulfilled lives. The class will support the students with accessing the mainstream curriculum along with supporting them to develop their strengths, social skills and life skills. 

Why include an ASD class in the Royal and Prior?

In 2016, a report by the National Council for Special Education noted that 1 in 65, or 1.5% of the school going population in Ireland had a diagnosis of Autism. The Royal and Prior School aspires to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for all within the community and this facility is another step in that direction. 

Where will the ASD class be located? 

The new ASD class will be located in W4 and W5. W4 will be the main classroom with W5 being repurposed to form a new sensory room, Occupational Therapy and life skills area. These facilities will benefit those students with ASD and those with other additional needs within the school.

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