Today, 16th September 2021, AsIAm is delighted to announce the launch of its new Adult Support and Well-being Programme for Autistic adults. AsIAm has been working hard at developing a programme to address issues regarding the lack of social inclusion for autistic adults. Through the generous support of the Eithne and Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Fund, as seen on The Late Late Show, the AsIAm Adult Support and Wellbeing Programme aims to adopt a community development approach, striving to support autistic adults to develop self-advocacy and peer support skills. The program will be led by our new colleague Jennifer O’Connor, AsIAm ‘Adult Support and Wellbeing Officer’. The programme aims to assist autistic adults by creating social spaces online and in-person and to create a platform of opportunities for autistic adults to become more involved in community activities over the coming months.
At least 1 in 65 people in Ireland are autistic and nearly 300,000 people have an immediate family member on the autism spectrum. Autistic people are as diverse as the society we live in and are already making contributions to communities across Ireland. AsIAm’s ‘Adult Support and Wellbeing Programme’ is an opportunity to recognize the needs and unique experiences of autistic adults in Ireland, by expanding knowledge, understanding and acceptance. This is especially important given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had across all members of society.
To facilitate this programme, AsIAm sought opinions, experiences, and testimonies from autistic adults, as well as parents and carers of autistic adults related to social needs, inclusion, and opportunities via a nationwide survey. These responses have since informed the building of our new programme, where we aim to incorporate a mixture of online events and meet-ups, with in person peer support groups and activities.
The Adult Support and Wellbeing Programme is hosting fourteen events over the course of the final three months of 2021, combining a mixture of both in-person and online. We will be increasing our capacity for events in the new year with more in-person gatherings. For the early stages of our programme, places are limited with a maximum of twelve participants for each event. The participants for the Self-Advocacy classes will be the same twelve participants for all three classes.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything further questions. Stay tuned for the expansion of this programme and confirmation of dates for this year’s programme.