Friday, January 19, 2018
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Winter 2017 Issue – Editorial – Autism and Rights

In Ireland, outcomes for many people on the autism spectrum are poor. Autistic spectrum conditions do not receive the same recognition here that they do in other countries. Awareness by society of autism is still quite low, particularly about the needs of adults on the spectrum. This makes genuine ‘inclusion’ in Irish society hard to achieve, as adjustments from others are often required to enable people with autism to become full participates in all aspects of society.

Experts by training and experts by experience

Many years ago, when I was a young Clinical Psychologist developing a professional interest in serving the autism community, one of the best pieces of advice that I received from my clinical supervisor was to think of autism not as a disorder, but as a different way of being in the world. ......

Framework for Quality of Life: a staff training course

The course is based on the most widely accepted and up-to-date understanding of quality of life and happiness. It is for organisations who strive to provide high quality Person Centred Plans (PCPs) and effective Positive Behaviour Support Plans (PBSPs) as required by statutory regulations and HIQA. The course is aimed at service users with high dependency needs, such as people with a significant intellectual disability, severe autism......

Autism as Context Blindness – by Peter Vermeulen

No doubt you can answer each of these questions. But what if you were asked to give the one and only correct answer? You would probably reply: “It all depends…”. A nice birthday present for one of your friends could be quite inappropriate for another. The bell may be a signal to remove the cake from the oven, go to your next class, or exit a building because of fire. What you pack in your suitcase depends on the destination and length of your journey. ...

Challenges faced by parents who advocate on behalf of their children.

Becoming a parent is a time of happiness and joy accompanied by a certain amount of fear and uncertainty. These feelings coincide with the realisation that your responsibility lies not solely with yourself, but has extended to that of another human being. Your new parental role is to nurture, protect and provide for your child’s biological, emotional and educational needs. This might seem a daunting task and can cause some anxiety and fear within a parent. ...
Rita Honan 3

IEP – in a nutshell

What is it? A framework for the out-of-the-ordinary goals, procedures and resources a child may require in school due to a disabling condition or learning difficulty. What’s it for? To identify specific goals and objectives to work towards during the school year THAT ARE DIFFERENT FROM the usual class goals, and to track the student’s progress on these goals. .....

Sexuality and Relationship Education for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Historically, people with a range of disabilities have been denied rights to their own sexuality. In contrast, modern international human rights documents acknowledge that all people have the right to knowledge about sexuality in a way that they can understand. They have the right to choose a partner, marry and have children, love and be loved, receive sexuality and relationship education, obtain the highest standard of health care available to them.....
Geraldine Graydon - Safe and Secure

SAFE AND SECURE

Many of us never find the time to sit down and discuss what our future intentions are for our relative on the autism spectrum; nevertheless, it is the elephant in the room. It is always at the back of our minds. However, from time to time it pops up, maybe you can’t get to sleep, or you wake up during the night and decide it’s time to talk about it. ...

Autism, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder. Don’t believe me? Look it up. You’ll find consistency in both global diagnostic systems, the International Classification of Diseases (World Health Organisation), and the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (American Psychiatric Association). But do we ever take pause to think about what that means? Autism is not mental illness, but rather a condition of a different trajectory of human development, no better, no worse than that which is typical and generally oberved throughout the population. ...

Using Lego with children on the Autism Spectrum

We have all heard of Lego© - we know that it is loved by children (and adults) of all ages. In fact, the majority of us have probably enjoyed playing with Lego construction toys at some point! While we know that Lego promotes creativity and can help develop fine motor skills, what we may not be aware of is a recent phenomenon where Lego is used as part of a highly structured social development programme for children on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). ...