Reviewed by Simon Harris, Greystones, Councillor


St Catherine’s Early Services, St. Catherine’s Association Ltd. “Four Winds”, Newcastle Village, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow. As a disability advocate and the founder of an Autism charity in County Wicklow the consistent problem I have always found parents encountered upon receiving a diagnosis of Autism is a lack of coordinated information and tips to help them navigate their new found world of Autism.

This book – “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – Information Pack for Parents” .which was put together by St. Catherine’s Early Services in County Wicklow, finally addresses that huge void that faces parents when their child is first given a diagnosis of Autism.

This publication attempts, and succeeds succesfully, in providing a full overview of information that parents will require when their child had first been diagnosed. It covers everything from simply answering the question what is Autism Spectrum Disorder to providing parents with information on various educational opportunities available for their child and very basic and practical tips like what might my child be entitiled to and if they are entitled to it how do I go about obtaining that benefit.

I find the book to be written in a friendly and accesible manner, it is well laid out and it is the type of guide that I have no doubt parents of children with autism will want to keep close at hand for many a year.

Often the disability sector has encountered a problem, particurly in the area of Autism, wereby some service provision falls under the remit of the Department of Health and other services are provided by the Department of Education. Also often parents get pushed from one department to another while seeking answers for very basic questions.

This book addresses this by providing information on what is provided by the Department of Education and what is provided by others.

I certainly know that I will be keeping a copy of this publication close at hand and I could not recommend this book highly enough to parents, to educators and indeed to people in the community who want to have better information about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I have always been buoyed on in my work as a disability advocate by the mantra “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. Once again St. Catherine’s Early Services have done just that. They have put together a very practical information pack for parents which will help them steer their way through the challenges and indeed embrace the opportunities that every parent and family of a child with ASD faces.

Congratulations to all involved in this excellent publication.


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