Friday, April 28, 2017
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by Jason Carragher

Hi, my name is Jason Carragher. I am 17 yrs old and I go to St Paul’s Special School in Beaumont Woods. I started when I was 6 yrs old and I have had a lot of problems with behaviour and also with my weight. I have always battled with my weight since I was a young child. At one stage I was 16 stone and was not healthy. I ate all the wrong foods and didn’t exercise a lot, but at the time I didn’t understand why my weight was an issue because I didn’t have the same thoughts as a normal child would have...

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Mary de Paor on why it is vital too that disability services should be vigilant to the problem of bullying.

I recently learned about the devastating and continuing effects that a friend’s cyber bullying has had for a woman and her whole family. Several years ago, Susan (not her real name) began to complain about ‘not nice’ texts and online messages she was receiving from a longtime friend (here called Anne). Both young women have moderate intellectual disabilities. Her mother suggested that Susan should delete the messages and tell Anne that she didn’t like them. But the problem persisted to Susan’s growing distress. Eventually her parents saw some of the vindictive emails, and belittling, taunting texts and voice messages...

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Anne Maher on the benefits of a probiotic diet.

The term ‘probiotic’ has become a familiar one in recent years. However, it is not such a new concept and indeed in the early 1900s, Ilya Mechnikov was the first to propose the use of live microorganisms in maintaining bowel health and prolonging life. Now, the term probiotic is used to describe dietary microorganisms that are beneficial to the health of the host. It is not unusual now to be encouraged to take a course of probiotics along with or soon after a course of antibiotics...

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Adam Harris, AsIAm.ie 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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Dr Jane Tracy, Centre for Developmental Disability Health, Victoria, Australia, says that many people with intellectual disabilities often encounter barriers to accessing healthcare services

Being healthy is more than not being sick. Being healthy is about feeling well and comfortable, safe and secure, to be able to connect with other people and join in the life of your community. Being healthy is about feeling good physically and mentally. For people with intellectual and other disabilities it is very important to be and stay as healthy as possible, as being unwell makes it harder to do things for yourself, and to join in education, work, recreation and social activities with family and friends. Many people with intellectual disabilities experience poor health. Some of the health issues relate to the disability, but many are the same as those experienced by the general population.

Gordon Jeyes, Chief Executive, Tusla, explains the new dedicated state agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children

They say that the road’s never easy to a place worth going! Establishing a brand new Agency and championing reform at a time of financial restraint and recruitment restriction has been challenging. Finally, on 1 January, 2014, the Child and Family Agency became an independent legal entity, comprising the former Children & Family Services of the HSE, the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board, as well as a range of services responding to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence...

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Marc Leech, Thomas Nugent, Kevin Brady, Pat Reid, Carmel Farrell, Linda McGee, Triona Maloney, Cassandra Farrell, Breda McHugh, Joe Mimnagh, Francis O'Brien, Phillip Gray Photo By Shelley Corcoran www.shelleycorcoran-photography.com

St Christopher’s Services (Longford) and their theatre group ‘The Green Shoots’ have come second in the AbleVision International short film festival which was held in Drogheda on 29 March 2014 in the Droichead Arts Centre. Films from as far as Argentina, Ethiopia, England and even further reached the final nineteen. Brighton in England was the eventual winner with their production of ‘The Sea’, so it was a great honour for ‘Green Shoots’ to come second in such a fantastic line-up of short films...

Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Reviewed by Sandra Rosieur, Counsellor, London

This book explores the personal and interpersonal complexities taking place within the therapeutic community, together with destructive processes that have external origins (such as governmental and health-care commissioning). These ‘attacks’ take place under the guise of policy changes, uncertainties around funding and commissioning, service cuts and, in some cases, they result in the closure of iconic services, such as the Henderson Hospital...

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by Stephen Kealy

Stephen Kealy

Intellectual disability is a well-researched field of study, generating a considerable number of references in any Google search. What is always challenging is converting research to practice. There is also considerable work completed on the added value to the person with an intellectual disability moving from institutional settings to live in the community, as well as the importance of keeping housing solutions—as far as possible—individualised, to maximise the benefits for the person. Yet some services supported by the HSE have paid insufficient attention to what is known to work for people seeking a better life with all the added benefits for their health and wellbeing...