HomeLatest newsIrelandParents of autistic twins get school place for boys after six-year battle

Parents of autistic twins get school place for boys after six-year battle

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The parents of autistic twins with profound special needs have finally been told their boys have a school place after a six-year battle.

Gillian and Darren Milne tried unsuccessfully to access specialised education for Kyle and Ryan, 11.

The couple had to become full-time carers resulting in them losing their home having fallen into arrears.

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The boys have ADHD, sensory processing disorder, global developmental delay and OCD.

They are both non-verbal with low immunity which means they pick up regular infections.

Mrs Milne, from Glasnevin, North Dublin, said she was given the good news yesterday.

She added: “We met [Minister of State for Special Education] Josepha Madigan who has assured us the boys will be going to school in September and that they have a place for them. She was absolutely lovely – she’s a mother herself.

“Mrs Madigan seemed very genuine and has assured us advanced progress has been made for the boys.

“We have been told there is a school for Ryan and Kyle in September but we have not been given the name of the school.

“Mrs Madigan met us at 11am and we had a long chat with her in the Dail. She was waiting for us. She said they had been in touch with a number of schools – one in particular. She hadn’t confirmed the name yet but she is standing over this development.

“But the main thing is she said she was putting her reputation on the line, so if this fell through it was on her.

“I brought all the reports with us to show her how high special needs they are.

“We have been promised that they will work hard for the boys and other families in this situation.

“It is going to be a difficult transition and we know that.

“We have been at home for years with the children.

“It will be very hard for them to go and hard for us to let them go.

“We are going to have to get used to this too. This won’t be easy – the boys don’t know school. They don’t know to be around other kids and they have so much OCD on top of everything. It’s going to be hard, but we are delighted.”

News of the boys’ school places came after the Taoiseach Micheal Martin apologised to the family in the Dail on Wednesday.

He admitted the State had “failed Ryan and Kyle” because the boys had not been to school in six years.

Mr Milne, who was a bus driver, had to leave his job to help his wife look after the children at home.

They fell into mortgage arrears as a result and iCare Housing project stepped in, but they will be taking ownership of the property – meaning the Milnes are now tenants in their own home.

Mrs Milne said that was “devastating” given that they hoped the house would be for their sons in the years to come.

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