Sunday, August 20, 2017

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Comedian John Williams.

"I have learnt far far more about the human condition, and what it truly means to be alive from just being with those with learning diabilities than I have from any eminent teacher or book."

Sara Porzio details the work involved in sourcing a suitable autism day service for her daughter, and the disappointment in finding it removed at the last minute. She questions whether the health service values all people equally.

My daughter Francesca has autism and graduated from St Paul’s Special School in June of this year. In 2013, I had contacted our local Disability Manager. She told me that the school and the family would have to identify a service that best suited her needs....

Andra and her family live with Kyle’s Autism and Epilepsy in a tough environment for services, which brings the concept of Quality Of Life sharply into focus…


Quality of Life can mean a lot of things to society as a whole. For most people, it means a good job, nice house and car, family and money for luxuries, and then you are pretty much all set - right?...

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Adam Harris, founder, explains its role as Ireland’s online support and advocacy service for individuals and families affected by Autism and their professional supporters.

‘Back to School’ is a stressful time for many students and their families, with the competing financial, academic and emotional demands. However it can be particularly challenging for students on the Autism Spectrum. Students with Autism need routine, struggle with many sensory environments and can find it hard to communicate or socially interact with their teachers or fellow students. A new academic year, brings a new routine, new people, new environments and expectations and new social situations – which are the cause of much anxiety for many students on the Spectrum. Many students on the Spectrum will have found a previous academic year difficult, maybe because they were misunderstood, perhaps because they were bullied or struggled to keep up with the curriculum or demands of the school day—this will also have an impact on their anxiety levels as they settle into a new school year...

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Poor motor function, low motivation and poor social interaction make it even more difficult for people with ASD to be physically active, but with support, encouragement, and motivation anyone can improve their level of physical activity. Michael McKeon explores the benefits of physical activity for those with a disability.

Physical activity generally refers to exercise and physical fitness as important elements of a healthy lifestyle. Approximately 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is...

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Limited resources are new to many who came through the Celtic Tiger years, says Rita Honan. But those of us with grey around the temples recall not only lack of funding, but more damaging, lack of knowledge of how best to teach and support those with an ASD. Actually, few professionals in Ireland even knew how to recognise or diagnosis Autism and Asperger Syndrome a short 15 years ago! The numbers of special classes for students with Autism were in the single digits, there were 8 students per class with no SNAs, none of the classes were in mainstream schools and none of the children were in mainstream classes. So, lots of progress has been made, but now, how do we cope in these lean-again times? History is a good teacher—of what to do, and what not to do. Let’s learn from it to minimise the inevitable damage that will be done by the restrictions being placed on necessary resources.

In the earlier days little was known about the autistic conditions themselves, and very few parents and professionals knew much about evidence-based practices. Not...

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St Catherine’s Association was formed in Co. Wicklow in 1970 by parents of children with intellectual disability in response to underdeveloped services for such children in the county at that time. From very humble beginnings involving simply providing a drop-in service so that parents could do many of the tasks of day-to-day living, it has grown to providing services for 250 children up to the age of eighteen and their families. Ian Grey, principal psychologist of St Catherine’s Services, details the results of a recent survey on the service today.

St Catherine’s Association was formed in Co. Wicklow in 1970 by parents of children with intellectual disability in response to underdeveloped services for such...

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Occupational Therapists work with individuals and groups in order to promote health through engagement in occupation (AOTA 2008). In this article, Margot Barry aims to highlight how the diagnosis Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can impact a child’s ability to develop and participate in activities of daily living and how occupational therapists assess and intervene with a child who has an ASD. It also gives some information on the services ‘Sensational Kids’ provides to children with ASD.

Children in general learn through a variety of processes. They learn from observing others participate in activities of daily living and they also learn...

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Maria Moran tells the story of her daughter Jessica’s diagnosis on the autism spectrum and the whole familys’ journey as they tried to find their way through a maze of treatments and opinions for the best method to help and care for her.

On 23 March 2003, Jessica began her formal education. She joined a newly opened pre-school for children with autism in St Helen’s National School...