Sunday, April 30, 2017
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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…

Kyle

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?...

Anna Kingston regrets the loss of so many of our young people to emigration, and makes a compelling case for meaningful occupation for people with intellectual disability in modern Ireland.

Youth unemployment in Ireland is currently over 22 percent, and Irish parents are heartbroken watching their young adult sons and daughters emigrate to far away shores for work as there is nothing here for them. As difficult as this is, these young people are, in my opinion, lucky as they are able to emigrate and find a meaningful occupation elsewhere...

Anita Stefańska, PhD, University of Poznań, Poland discusses the benefits of drama and theatre in education for people with intellectual disability

Boosting resourcefulness and optimism in people with disabilities, by highlighting their independence and involvement in the creative process, is one of the objectives of the author's concept of the theatre therapy named Theatre of Thought.

Martin and Evelyn Conneely take us on a tour of holidays with their son Jack…

Jack-at-the-Matterhorn

From a drawer in the wilds of Connemara to a five star hotel with a view of the pyramids, Jack, our “special” son, has had plenty of exposure to holiday experiences. He is an only child, born in 1990- Our early holidays with Jack were with family in Galway. We had the use of a deserted house near Maam Cross but did not have a car and our luggage had to be minimal. So the paraphernalia now associated with babies was not a runner for Jack. Which is how he came to be sleeping in a drawer on his first “holiday”. He coped well with the intermittent lack of running water in that old house and was fascinated by the spiders and the open fire. Due to broken fences, the house was always close to invasion by sheep, an excitement he loved. The little stream that ran through the front “lawn” of that house was a source of intense interest to him as a dam-builder.

by Elizabeth Flynn

In two separate areas of South Dublin in the early 1980’s, two young women were not to know how their paths would soon cross. Young adult newly-wed life began for them as next door neighbours in the leafy suburb of Killiney - fresh-faced, youthful and above all, full of expectation. They both were instantly attracted to each other and friendship was a given. Easy smiles, merry laughs soon led to chat about life plans. They were created to be friends. Laughter was so much their sound...

by Tricia Donlon

Earlier this year Winnie celebrated 50 years of a very full life. Next year, St Christopher’s, a service with a long association with Winnie’s parents and Winnie herself, will be celebrating 50 years of provision to families and their children with an intellectual disability. Winnie’s story and that of St Christopher’s go hand in hand, as Mel, her father, has been an integral part of the organisation since its foundation. 2014 will see five decades of Mel’s continuous involvement...

Jane Fitzpatrick on the challenges of independent living (written with the support of Derek McNamara)

My name is Jane Fitzpatrick, I am 33 years of age and I am adult with a mild intellectual disability. I am originally from the Foxrock area. These days, with the support of my Mum and Dad and family and some great staff that have been working with me over the last couple of years, I am living independently in Stillorgan...

by Máiríde Woods

I went for an uncomfortable trip down memory lane last night. It led me past a clinic where I had brought my four-year-old daughter in 1975, to a school hall in Ballymun where about one hundred people were sitting under children’s art work. Waiting for bad news...

by Deirdre Spain

deirdre spain graduation

On 4 November 2012, I and my friends graduated from the Advocacy and Leadership Course at the DIT Mountjoy Square. All our family and friends attended the graduation ceremony. It was lovely. I had to do an interview to get a place on the course and was delighted when I got the news that I had been successful...