Hello, my name is Brigitta Looney. Where would I be without St. Francis Special School? My son Ryan attends St. Francis Special School and this year (2018/2019) is his 4th year in the school. Ryan started off his schooling in an ASD unit in a mainstream school. He attended the mainstream school for 2 years but unfortunately I felt that my son was not making as much progress as I knew he could.
After two years, I knew it was time to do something and to make a change. I managed to get another assessment completed on Ryan and in an effort to find the best way forward for him, I visited two special schools but immediately felt that St. Francis was the best option for my son. It’s not easy to make the decision to withdraw your child from a school and send him to a different school but in the transitioning to St. Francis, I couldn’t have asked for a better school. St. Francis made it as comfortable as possible for me and for Ryan – and to my surprise – he transitioned really well.
The school staff have gone over and beyond to accommodate Ryan’s needs. As a parent and advocate for my son, I started fundraising 6 years ago along wth Autism Parents Group. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough multi-disciplinary services put in place so with the schools support, I started up a pilot project to fundraise and provide therapies (SLT and Music Therapy) on a private basis. The Principal, Mr. Liam Twomey was very supportive of this project and now four years later, the project continues to grow and develop with more pupils availing of therapies weekly and the school has been most accommodating in facilitating the provision of the private therapies by making rooms available and being extremely supportive of what started as a pilot project.
I see St. Francis as family now – they know my son Ryan and they provide for his education and care with love and support. You could walk in any time or day – the door is always open with great greetings and warmth. Ryan is a happy boy and he waits every morning with a smile for his bus to school. For any mother who has a child with special needs, it’s so reassuring to know that I made the correct but difficult decision to send him to St. Francis Special School. Ryan and his family are very happy with all at St. Francis.
Thank you St. Francis Special School!
Tadgh enrolled in St. Francis Special School in September 2017. He made a seamless transition from a mainstream school to a special school setting because St. Francis Special School is tailor-made to meet Tadgh’s complex physical and medical needs.
It is a great source of comfort and support to us as parents to know and trust that our precious boy is so well taken care of by such a great, dedicated and experienced team that have a wealth of knowledge in the area of special needs.
The staff and management are always co-operative, supportive, patient, kind, diligent and endeavour to do their absolute best for our child. We feel totally at ease during the day content in the knowledge that Tadgh is safe, secure, extremely happy and fulfilled at school.
We would be very happy to recommend St. Francis Special School as an option to any parent in a similar situation.
Mary & Ger Costello