Achoimre: While exemptions from Irish are periodically reported in the media, they have attracted little academic commentary. Learners with certain special educational needs (SEN) qualify for an exemption from Irish when clear criteria are met (DES1, 1994; DES, 1996), but there appears to be a gap between policy and practice. This paper presents findings on the educational profile of learners with Williams syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental condition that results in an intellectual disability (ID) but an aptitude for language learning. Most of the teacher participants in the study acknowledged the languagelearning capacity of the learners but some portrayed professional dilemmas of working within the parameters of an exemption from Irish. While this paper primarily aims to open the debate on exemptions from Irish, it also proposes a framework for the teaching of Irish to learners with SEN.
Páipéar Comhairle ó Údarás Náisiúnta Míchumais maidir le Teanga agus Téarmaíocht Míchumais (Meitheamh 2022)
Tá sé mar chuspóir leis an bpáipéar seo ón ÚNM treoir phraiticiúil a thabhairt do Ranna agus chomhlachtaí poiblí maidir leis an teanga ba cheart a úsáid i ndáil le míchumas chun freastal ar bhealach measúil ar na téarmaí difriúla is fearr le daoine faoi mhíchumas. Is treoir an-úsáideach í do naíonraí agus scoileanna freisin le gluais a mhíníonn téarmaí coitianta agus gluais eile le cur síos ar téarmaí nár cheart a úsáid agus téarmaí malartacha molta ina n-áit.
“Bilingualism does not negatively impact autistic people and may provide benefits for cognitive and socio-emotional development. It is an essential part of someone’s identity”. This guidance document summarises the latest findings in the field of bilingualism in autism research. This summary focuses on the information needed by educators to provide up-to-date and adapted advice to bilingual families of autistic children and young people.
At least 25% of autistic children worldwide have the potential to grow up in a bilingual environment. However, many autistic children are being denied opportunities to access additional languages and the cultural, familial and community connections that come with this. There is little evidence identifying the barriers to language learning and access, and no research addressing the perspectives of practitioners, who are crucial in supporting parents to make informed choices about bilingualism with their child.