Monday, September 25, 2017
Frontline Issue 97
frontline 97


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Stephen Kealy, Editor

Stephen Kealy

Family is an essential fabric of who we are—understandings forged in so many conscious and unconscious interactions—an environment where we are engaged and given opportunities to experience warmth and tenderness—where children are challenged and they, in turn, challenge. Trust is burnished by active reciprocal engagement and its calibration reflects the many-layered nuances of family life. Such simple understandings as respect, warmth, looking out for one another, sharing, expressions of concern; while not taken for granted, these are recognised as vitally important to the human condition, and their absence is equally recognisable...

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Mary de Paor looks at the early years of Frontline and has a peep at the future in its new online incarnation.

This final print-issue of Frontline marks 25 years of publication—a total of 97 issues of the magazine! In the spring of 1989, as people entered the Brandon Hotel in Tralee for the AGM of NAMHI, two gentlemen were making a pitch for a new magazine called Frontline. Over the previous six months, John Saunders, Tony Darmody, Patrick McGinley, Chris Conliffe, Seamus Dunne, Patricia Walsh and Bob McCormack had worked with publisher Nick Maxwell of Wordwell to bring Frontline into being...

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Colin Griffiths looks back at twenty-five years of Frontline magazine in print.

So farewell then, Frontline magazine as we know it. It is twenty-five years since Frontline first saw the light of day and in that period much has changed. People with intellectual disability have moved out of congregated settings and into ‘ordinary’ houses. Many people have got jobs in shops, factories, workshops and service industries all over the country. Also in that time Ireland has become a multilingual, multiracial society. In short, difference has thrived, and in that space people with disabilities have become recognised to a great extent as the same as everybody else...

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Freddie Wood explains in detail the various heart conditions that can affect those with Down Syndrome.

I have been very privileged over three decades of professional life to treat many babies and children with Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome occurs approximately one...

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Máiríde Woods writes about the delicate relationship between the parents of those with an intellectual disability and the professionals who treat their children.

IN 1975, I picked up a magazine in the waiting room of an intellectual disability centre where we had gone to have our little daughter assessed. There were the usual pictures of open days, outings, accounts of great leaps forward. But the article I remember was the story of a boy from a remote area who entered the agency’s residential school at four years of age, unable to speak or play properly. After a few years of care and stimulation at the school, he was pronounced ‘normal’ and left. His apparent intellectual disability was the result of a deprived home background...

Emma Dunne, whose daughter has autism, says that respite is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

As a parent cuddling my new baby, ‘respite’ was never a term or an idea that entered my head. To be honest, I had no real understanding of what that term entailed or would later come to mean in my daughter’s life, and mine. When Tess was born, I dreamed of my daughter growing up and all the typical girly adventures she would have and how nice it was that she had a sister to share all these moments with—school, boyfriends, weddings, babies—the list in my head was endless. Then, two and a half years later, without welcome or warning, came the diagnosis of autism.

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Mary Moran on Dundalk footballer Keith Ward’s incredible generosity in giving his EA Sports Cup winners medal to her son Cillian

The 2013/2014 season was a momentous one for Dundalk Football Club. For the first time in 19 years they have just brought the most coveted trophy in League of Ireland soccer back to Oriel Park, by winning the SSE Airtricity League. They also won the EA Sports Cup in a final which saw Oriel Park filled to capacity. Attendance at these matches reached several thousands.

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In a multidisciplinary effort, a new innovative swimming programme has been offered to parents and children attending Cope Foundation. The programme, ‘Sensational Swimmers’ was a great success with all families that participated. The ‘Sensational Swimmers’, programme is specifically developed to help children with specific learning needs, autism, communication difficulties and sensory difficulties to enjoy success in the water and in learning to swim. It also works with families to develop their confidence, so that swimming can be a family activity and experience...

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Aenid Doherty ( Enable Ireland) recipient of the Gerry Clarke Award at the Open Training College Conferring of Awards

Congratulations to all the recent graduates of the Open Training College who attended the Conferring of Awards ceremony on Saturday, 15 November at the RDS Concert Hall in Dublin. Almost one hundred graduates achieved third-level awards in the areas of Social Care and Management in the disability and wider non-profit sectors. Special mention goes to Aenid Doherty (The Gerry Clarke Award), Paul Foster (Social Care Ireland Award for Academic Excellence), and Peter Shiels (The Wheel Management Award for Academic Excellence) for achieving their respective ‘Student of the Year’ awards on the day.

Inclusion Ireland recently published a working paper: ‘The Case of Speech and Language Therapy’ authored by Pauline Conroy. The key findings of this report were that there is not a functioning, public speech and language therapy service in Ireland and that access to a service can depend on where you live. Another of the key findings, which should come as no surprise, was the resilience, hard work and creativity of families and support groups. While acknowledging that the Health Service Executive (HSE) should be funding these services, many parents have taken their own action to ensure their child has a service...