Autism and Education: Riley O’Keefe
Mark O’Keefe, celebrity hairdresser and owner of the Sugar Club, made headlines last week in his heartfelt letter to his five-year old son Riley. Riley received an autism diagnosis two and a half years ago, and has so far been unsuccessful in gaining a school place. Last Friday I sat down with Riley’s parents, Mark and Aimee Penco to discuss their experience so far.
*Disclaimer: The following is an interview. Any views expressed are Mark and Aimee’s. Factual corrections were made where necessary.*
Tell me a bit about Riley to start.
M: He’s a very outgoing little boy. He’s loads of fun and very adventurous. He just looks at life as a fairground. For him everything that he sees is there for his entertainment. Which can be a good and a bad thing. He doesn’t see the fear, he doesn’t see the danger. But at the same time he can turn a stick into a lightsabre: he has a great imagination. Up until now that hasn’t been a problem but not He’s nearly six years of age; he should be moving on a lot more in his mind-set, his communication and his ability to play with other children which can be frustrating. With regards to his autism, you can fill in that.
Riley’s nonverbal, he’d have difficulty with eye contact and can get unnerved around strangers. Two years ago he would have stayed away, but he’s come along a lot with therapy (occupational and speech). Now he’ll come over and of course while he doesn’t speak he will now try to be in the group. He’s a bit frustrated at the moment because we won’t let him out onto the road to play with his brother or other children. We can’t do that because as we said he doesn’t have any fear; he wouldn’t look both ways for cars. He wants to be out and have friends and be with other people but we obviously can’t do that.
He’s quite extroverted?
A: He loves attention. We noticed he attracts himself to older children and will try to have a wrestle with them. He likes more boisterous physical contact but he’ll never try that with someone smaller than him. We have a den in the back of the house for the kids and when new people come in he’ll go straight in so he can be in the thick of it.
A: Riley is quite lucky in the sense that he hasn’t got any sensory needs. He doesn’t react strongly to noises of lights. We didn’t think autism straight away when he was a baby, we actually thought it was a problem with his hearing.
M: He does get afraid of the dark, but…
A: Yeah, but could just be a kid thing. He’s never had sensory issues. We’ve always been able to bring him places. Like we’ve been on holidays and airplanes with him and he’s been totally fine. He comes everywhere with us; we’ve never had that kind of reaction out of Riley.
So no meltdowns?
A: Meltdowns he’d get in his own way.
M: If he’s getting worked up he’ll go up to his room, sit and play with a stick for about half an hour. More often than not he’ll be wanting to watch a movie, running around or eating something; he’s very active in that sense. He’s not at rest for long. You could wake up at three in the morning with him bouncing off the walls until about eight or nine.
A: He’s started stimming a lot in the last year, which has made him quite noticeable. That’d be the only sign of autism besides not speaking. He makes a kind of ‘eee’ noise, which I think gives him a sensation in his throat that he finds comforting. I think it calms him because when he’s running around he does that.
Both of you are hairdressers, meaning you’re at the front line of a service that many autistic people will find uncomfortable.
A: Yeah Riley doesn’t like getting his haircut, we have to do it while he’s asleep. The minute he hears the clippers or sees anything related to haircuts, he’ll melt down. He loves the water and doesn’t mind me shampooing his hair, but cutting it isn’t easy. I’ve an autistic client: Jack. We’ve got an amazing guy who comes in to get his colour done in Sugar Cubed here and he’s studying to become a hairdresser in Crumlin. He’d come in and he knows more than most of us in there. He’s so into it now he’ll be telling us how to do his colour during consultation. His mum is an SNA and he didn’t actually start speaking until he was ten, but he comes in now and he’s full of life.
M: That kind of thing gives us a lot of hope.
“When Riley wants to do something, he’s gung-ho in doing it”
Does he have any special interests?
M: Movies, superheroes, sticks, Star Wars. He loves climbing, he’s always getting on my shoulders. Anything that gives him a bit of adrenaline. He’s very physical.
A: He’s got great balance. I think it’s because he doesn’t get scared, so he’ll always be very straight while he’s walking on walls. It’s amazing what he can do, but obviously our hearts are in our mouths when he does it.
You’ve gone into this already on the radio but could you give a quick outline of your experience so far with the school system?
A: It’s very down heartening: the services in this country are not very forthcoming with any help. I always thought they’d be there going to be there for you. We’re given all the names of people who are supposedly there to help but when you ring them they’re not. You get these generic emails that they probably emailed hundreds of parents. You get the impression you’re on your own. They pass the buck a lot too. The SENO will complain about schools, then the schools will blame the SENO, and then they’ll blame the HSE.
Nobody has once said to me ‘okay I’m going to do this now, I’ll get in touch with this person. We’ll get in contact with a school and we’ll put a plan together.’ It’s very simple to make a phone call or send an email to two different people. Surely between the two of you there can be a plan. I’m getting lists of schools from SENO officers but they’re all full. I need schools where a place will be opening soon in a year so I can put in an application. I know schools I’ve gotten in contact with that have six year waiting lists!
What happens is there will be only one ASD unit in a school which goes 6-9, 9-12; they don’t really do junior infants etc. So a kid could be in the 6-9 class for three years and until then that place will be taken up. And some schools will only have a 6-9 or a 9-12 class but not both, so you’ll have to change schools when they turn 9.
Could you remind me how old Riley was when he was diagnosed?
A: It was shortly before his third birthday.
So you’ve been working on this for quite a while!
Yeah; We were lucky in a way. We got him into an amazing preschool in Donamede. It’s early intervention support services. From the day he went to the school his teachers told me ‘you need to get on it now for primary school.’ I was surprised, ‘what do you mean, he’s three?’ They warned me it’s horrendous trying to sort it out. I realised then after about four weeks of ringing up schools and just trying to get general help and advice; it was so hard to even get a reply. We’ve been at it for two and a half years. January is where the new places are considered so as you can imagine January is a very stressful time for us. February is when all of the rejection letters come in. We’ve gotten no help. No one has ever rang me from the government, the HSE, SENO.
We got Riley privately diagnosed, not through the HSE. Anything Riley has gotten has been from us, not through public services. This isn’t just in Dublin, we’ve moved a few times but the place Riley’s in right now has been his one constant. In September, hopefully, he’ll be in school, but the break in routine has affected him. He’s not sleeping well at the moment, which always happens when he’s stressed. For the last five nights he’s woken up in the middle of the night and stayed awake until the afternoon when we’ll try to get him to nap.
If either of you had an opportunity to speak to the Minister what would you say?
M: The Minister for Education? I believe he’s today opening a golf course in Ballygiffin.
A: We’ve been trying to get in touch all week with no response. But he says golf tourism is important.
(editors note: the meeting in question was to announce the Ryder’s Cup)
M: He’s not the Minister for Tourism, it’s not his concern. It’s not just him; the Minister for Children should be getting involved. They need to come together and take ownership of this problem. Adam said there’s over a thousand children that won’t be going to school across the country. That’s an absolute crying scene. I don’t know how some of these people can sleep at night. Go out, canvass, get votes, make promises and do what? Just sit idly by and let this all happen while the country’s shouting about it?
I work in the private sector; in particular I work in the service industry. We’re judged every day on our performance. We’re judged by our clients: if they’re happy or unhappy they let you know. If we don’t do a good job we’re sacked. That’s how it works. In the public sector no one is held accountable. They’re not pulled aside and told ‘this isn’t right, you’re not hitting targets, look at all this bad publicity.’ Quite frankly I wouldn’t know where to start with the Minister. They’ll be remembered and judged by this for a long time.
What needs to be done?
M: There needs to be more ASD units in national schools across the country. Perhaps they can start by finding out which areas have children who need them the most. There’s 80 places open in Dublin 15. That’s fantastic for them but is there a bigger need out there? I don’t know for sure but if they could start with the areas most in need perhaps? If it was my business I’d break it down into small bites.
What would you say to a school reluctant to set up an autism class?
A: I don’t think they should be have a choice in the matter. That’s exactly what’s going wrong in the country. That’s where the minister should be stepping in, which principals in schools don’t want to set up units. Every national school should have classes that accommodate everyone. It’s discriminatory.
M: Exactly. It’s like turning a student away for their religion or the colour of the skin. Not taking on a student because of their diagnosis is taking us back twenty or thirty years. The minister has the power now but ‘only as a last resort.’ Why should it be the last resort? It should be the first resort. Do hundreds of people have to come banging doors down, banging their heads off walls, and be going through sleepless nights across the country?
A: Riley is the second youngest of five. His brothers and sisters have started saying they want him in the same school as them. This isn’t always well received because the principal is reluctant to open an autism class. But one of the older girls has started noticing things, like one student with a different disability has a full time SNA and she’s wondering why it can’t be the same for Riley.
Are there any other supports you could recommend?
A: There was the preschool in Donamede who’ve done loads with him. He got one on one support every day. We have a speech therapist who comes in to see him in the house. We also bring him to Child Vision on Griffith Avenue. It does occupational therapy through equine therapy. We’re getting a reassessment in Therapy Tree in Foxrock to come up with a new plan going forward.
What are Riley’s greatest strengths?
A: Determination. If he wants something, he’ll do and he’ll knock you down. He’s very tactile, very emotional, very loving (like his mother!) We’re lucky that Riley is responding very well to schooling and his therapies over the last two years. He’s never turned away from it, he always goes in gung-ho. Because of the horse-riding we call him the Lone Ranger! He loves it so much he went from these little Shetland Ponies to massive horses. That’s Riley all over, he wants to be at the top of it.
How does it feel as a parent?
M: It’s scary. I don’t know what’s going to happen for him.
A: With a typical child there’s milestones. With an autistic child you have to have different expectations. We don’t know if he’ll ever speak, but I’ve learned not to expect anything. He’ll do it when he wants to. Riley has his own agenda and we’re going to have to go with the flow. I always say ‘Riley doesn’t live with us, we live with Riley.’
by AsIAm.ie - 8 August, 2019
Last updated by AsIAm.ie - August 29, 2019
by Ian Lynam - 20 January, 2020
What I (Don't) Know About Autism, a play written by Jody O'Neill, will soon hit the stage. The pl...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 14 January, 2020
Ahead of General Election 2020, AsIAm has one message for every candidate and political party – t...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 4 December, 2019
AsIAm in association with SuperValu recently hosted its latest community support seminar in Skerr...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 28 November, 2019
Roll For Kindness, a LGBT positive RPG group, will shortly host a stream for AsIAm. This weekend ...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 18 November, 2019
Last week the National Gallery of Ireland became the first cultural institution in Ireland to rec...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 15 November, 2019
AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, has welcomed the Minister for Education and S...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 18 October, 2019
Rebecca Hitchcock Martins is a Cork mother who was working in London she met her husban...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 2 October, 2019
We're currently currently working towards Autism-Friendly Status with National College of Irelan...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 2 October, 2019
We'll soon the first anniversary of Clonakilty becoming Ireland's first...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 25 September, 2019
AsIAm recently hosted an informal discussion for autism and higher education. The session began w...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 19 September, 2019
AsIAm is happy to today announce an additional 11 towns on the journey to becoming autism-friendl...[...]
by Ian Lynam - 12 September, 2019
Michael opened the night and introducing our two presenters, Liz Fitzpatrick & Linda Foley. ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 11 September, 2019
Autism vs First Year of college May 2019: I have just finished my summer exams. I had dropped ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 6 September, 2019
Dr. Gillian Smith is a Bray-based dentist. She previously made headlines in 2012 when she won the...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 2 September, 2019
The following piece is the final piece in our series covering bullying and autism. The first part...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 27 August, 2019
The attraction has been accredited by National Autism Charity as an example of best practise in a...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 21 August, 2019
AsIAm, Ireland’s national autism charity, has condemned the Health Service Executive’s decision t...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 12 August, 2019
The Minister for Education and Skills announced a rehaul of the criteria for granting exemptions ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 12 August, 2019
July saw the launch of Ireland's first autism friendly Intreo Office. Intreo Offices, a crucial p...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 9 August, 2019
On Wednesday we had the latest of our community support seminars in Galway. Michael opened the...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 2 August, 2019
Coming ahead of some stiff competition, AsIAm and Supervalu have won the Corporate Charity Partne...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 24 July, 2019
After a highly successful debut in 2018, AbleFest is coming back to Co. Meath! I spoke to Shay Ca...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 19 July, 2019
Jake O’Kane is 18 years old. He likes music, swimming and horse riding and he will soon be moved ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 25 June, 2019
Last Wednesday 19th June AsIAm Founder and CEO Adam Harris addressed the Oireachtas Committee on ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 13 June, 2019
Today AsIAm's Founder and CEO Adam Harris addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education a...[...]
Minister for Education Reminds Schools of Obligations to Students with SEN Following Enough Is Enough Protest
by Eleanor Walsh - 1 May, 2019
Yesterday Minister for Education Joe McHugh TD published a statement reminding schools and patron...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 30 April, 2019
As we come to the end of World Autism Month 2019, autistic advocate and Tipperary GAA supporter K...[...]
AsIAm to Join Enough Is Enough Protest on Lack of School Places for Autistic Students at Leinster House
by AsIAm.ie - 25 April, 2019
In light of the recent publication of our Invisible Children report on School Absence and Withdra...[...]
Research Opportunity: Barriers experienced by autistic adults accessing primary healthcare in Ireland
by AsIAm.ie - 16 April, 2019
AsIAm.ie is delighted to share this research opportunity with our readers. If you are interested ...[...]
Explainer: What Happened in Senator Devine’s Commencement Matter on SEN Schools Provision in the Seanad?
by AsIAm.ie - 12 April, 2019
On Thursday morning, Senator Máire Devine submitted a Commencement Matter to Seanad Éireann on th...[...]
Explainer: What Happened in Senator Ó Ríordáin’s Commencement Matter on School Places in the Seanad?
by Eleanor Walsh - 10 April, 2019
On Tuesday afternoon, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin submitted a Commencement Matter to Seanad Éireann...[...]
by Gáibhin McGranaghan - 4 April, 2019
On Tuesday evening, Sinn Féin used their Private Members’ time to submit a motion to establish an...[...]
Majority of Irish Support Autistic People in Jobs, Schools and the Community, but Don’t Understand Autism Well, survey finds
by Gáibhin McGranaghan - 2 April, 2019
Irish people show strong positive support for autistic people in schools, employment and society ...[...]
by Gáibhin McGranaghan - 1 April, 2019
Autism Strategy Tomorrow evening, Sinn Féin will be submitting a Private Member's Bill to establ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 29 March, 2019
Calling all schools, teachers, and educators! April is World Autism Month, and we have developed ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 20 March, 2019
AsIAm are delighted to partner with SuperValu, the first food retailer in Ireland to introduce Au...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 12 March, 2019
The Ark Cultural Centre for Children presents Peat, a brand new theatre show for ages 8+ by Kate ...[...]
It's no secret that meaningful supports and services for autistic people in Ireland are tough to ...[...]
In partnership with Core Clinical, we invite autistic people with a formal adult diagnosis of aut...[...]
On Monday evening we held our Community Support event in Co. Limerick on Autism and Play. We ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 19 February, 2019
AsIAm and SuperValu were proud to partner with the community of Clonakilty in creating Ireland’s ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 14 February, 2019
Autism Awareness Month is coming up soon in April, and two men are planning to give it their all ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 8 February, 2019
Last night we held our Puberty and Sexuality Community Support seminar in Co. Wicklow, and we're ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 5 February, 2019
We're very proud to say that Orán Timoney, a member of our first Youth Leadership Team and now an...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 30 January, 2019
As the national autistic advocacy organisation, AsIAm receives a huge volume of messages from fam...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 29 January, 2019
Last week we held our first 2019 Community Support event in Ratoath, County Meath, on the topic o...[...]
“It’s Not A Disorder”: Minister Joe McHugh Challenges Himself and TDs on Inclusive Language around Autism
by AsIAm.ie - 23 January, 2019
Following constructive and insightful discussions and correspondence with AsIAm in recent week...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 21 January, 2019
Representatives from both AsIAm and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) met last...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 19 December, 2018
Sign our petition calling for the ASTI & TUI to revise their advice here! AsIAm, I...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 26 November, 2018
It's been a month since our National Autism Conference in October, and we've received wonderful f...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 6 November, 2018
AsIAm is hosting twenty four Community Support Seminar talks around the country over the next twe...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 6 November, 2018
AsIAm is hosting twenty four Community Support Seminar talks around the country over the next twe...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 24 October, 2018
Our survey on special schools and classes is now live and open to the public! If you're a school ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 23 October, 2018
AsIAm.ie is delighted to share this research opportunity with our users. If you are interested in...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 19 October, 2018
The theme of this year's National Autism Conference is "Building Inclusive Communities". Laragh, ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 16 October, 2018
National Autism Conference is less than a week away, in the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Dublin, this S...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 16 October, 2018
SuperValu and AsIAm partner with the entire community of Clonakilty to secure full Autism Friendl...[...]
by Emer Ring - 28 September, 2018
All autistic children experience challenges in communication. While many might have an extensive ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 21 September, 2018
AsIAm would like to thank Dr Emer Ring and her colleagues from Mary Immaculate College (MIC)'s De...[...]
by Emer Ring - 20 September, 2018
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has just completed a review of the Special Need...[...]
by Adam Harris - 20 September, 2018
SuperValu and AsIAm.ie will host a unique exhibition which will enable the people of Clonakilty t...[...]
by Emer Ring - 20 September, 2018
Research continues to tell us that we must view ‘challenging behaviour’ as a way in which the chi...[...]
by Emer Ring - 19 September, 2018
Your child’s teacher may already be aware of autistic children's sensory needs. However, if your ...[...]
by Emer Ring - 18 September, 2018
An Individual Education Plan, often referred to as an ‘IEP’, is a plan to support your child’s le...[...]
by Emer Ring - 14 September, 2018
If your child doesn’t want to go back to school, it's important to talk about the reasons why the...[...]
by Emer Ring - 11 September, 2018
We all struggle getting back into our regular routine after holidays and for autistic children, w...[...]
by Emer Ring - 7 September, 2018
There is a wide range of resources available to support parents and children on this exciting jou...[...]
by Emer Ring - 4 September, 2018
It is a really good idea and absolutely essential to arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher,...[...]
by Emer Ring - 31 August, 2018
Parents and families are preparing their children for school from the day they are born and not j...[...]
by Emer Ring - 29 August, 2018
Starting school is one of the biggest events in both a family member's and a child's life. All be...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 27 June, 2018
AsIAm Founder and CEO Adam Harris called on the Department of Education to deliver training to te...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 13 June, 2018
It was with great pride and excitement that we announce today that AsIAm will be charity partner ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 31 May, 2018
This week, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) launched its review into the Special...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 6 May, 2018
We are delighted to make the tickets available for our 3rd Annual AsIAm National Autism Conferenc...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 4 May, 2018
Jody O’Neill is a young self-advocate attending Castletroy College in County Limerick. She has se...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 15 April, 2018
Social stories are short guides of a particular situation, event or activity. They include specif...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 30 March, 2018
Up to sixty early years professionals attended the ‘Teach Me AsIAm’ Early Years seminar in Limeri...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 13 March, 2018
DCU's School of Special and Inclusive Education are setting up a funded PhD exploring the experie...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 8 March, 2018
AsIAm welcomes the government’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Pe...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 3 March, 2018
AsIAm launched the ‘Teach Me As I Am’ Early Years Autism Programme in North Dublin on Monday 19th...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 9 February, 2018
Earlier this week, Co. Wicklow's Ben Rowsome was nominated for a Garda Youth Award for his advoca...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 6 February, 2018
Last week, our CEO Adam Harris featured on RTÉ Radio 1's The Business programme, discussing the g...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 31 January, 2018
Autistic individuals are likelier to develop complications with their own mental health than thos...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 30 January, 2018
AsIAm has welcomed progress in ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilit...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 26 January, 2018
AsIAm CEO Adam Harris has condemned Irish Rail’s move to phase out its quiet carriages from its D...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 12 January, 2018
AsIAm are delighted to announce the dates and locations for our new training programme for early ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 19 December, 2017
Brian Irwin, a self advocate based in Cork, talks about his personal journey as a young person on...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 1 December, 2017
AsIAm Founder and CEO Adam Harris helped launch SuperValu’s Autism-Friendly Shopping project earl...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 17 October, 2017
Laura Crean is a member of AsIAm's Youth Leadership Team and currently in her first year of study...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 2 October, 2017
Louise Ryan from Co. Limerick, a mother of two young boys on the autistic spectrum, talks about h...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 25 September, 2017
The AsIAm team travelled to Limerick City on Friday, where our Founder and CEO Adam Harris delive...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 22 September, 2017
It’s the time of month again to go back to school and starting third level education, even going ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 11 August, 2017
The internet can be a powerful platform and a huge resource for the autistism community. A wealth...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 2 August, 2017
This week, Sligo’s Clayton Hotel became the first hotel in Ireland to establish a room specifical...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 14 July, 2017
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INCLUSION STRATEGY? The National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 13 July, 2017
AsIAm Ireland has warmly welcomed the passage through Seanad Éireann of the Autism Spectrum Disor...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 10 March, 2017
A blog by Brian Irwin, AsIAm Volunteer & Secondary School Speaker in the Cork Region [captio...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 8 March, 2017
We are very exciting for the release of a new RTE One Documentary, produced by Firebrand Producti...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 9 September, 2016
During the month of September, AsIAm is excited to be bringing you a whole range of new content, ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 8 September, 2016
There is so many different people and organisations doing great things to support people with Aut...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 8 September, 2015
Yvonne Newbold is a parent and advocate for those affected by Autism in the UK. Yvonne wrote a bo...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 1 September, 2015
Starting or returning to Secondary School can be a big change and a challenge for all students, h...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 22 April, 2015
As part of our “AsYouCan” Campaign, for World Autism Awareness Month, each day in April we will s...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 22 April, 2015
AsIAm.ie is pleased to announce that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has kindly agr...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 1 April, 2015
This World Autism Awareness Month, AsIAm is calling on every individual, organisation and sector ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 12 February, 2015
Being a parent of a child with Autism can be challenging but, as Julie Direen shares, it can also...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 2 February, 2015
[caption id="attachment_3318" align="alignleft" width="300"] Carrie, centre, at our recent "Back ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 10 December, 2014
The online support and advocacy group for people with autism, AsIAm.ie, has said Ireland needs ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 5 December, 2014
Jonathan Victory shares his positive experiences of Martial Arts as someone with Aspergers Synd...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 31 October, 2014
One stressful aspect of being a parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum is getting the right sup...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 1 October, 2014
Lisa Domican, Founder of Grace App, talks about the challenge for parents in identifying pain in ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 10 September, 2014
The challenges of "Back to School" for students with Autism, and the launch of the AsIAm.ie "Back...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 25 August, 2014
Many families affected by Autism may be considering possible suitable extra-curricular activities...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 24 August, 2014
There is an old adage: "If you know one person with Autism, you know one person with Autism" It ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 22 August, 2014
Yesterday we were delighted to launch our AsIAm "Back to School" Handbooks for teachers, parents...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 21 August, 2014
AsIAm.ie has today published a series of guides to help people with autism deal with the major ch...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 20 August, 2014
Tomorrow, AsIAm will launch its "Back to School" Handbooks on Autism, for parents, students and t...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 17 June, 2014
Sinead Farrelly bravely tells us what it's been like being an 'aspie' in college. Originally publ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 3 June, 2014
Yvonne Newbold is the author of "The Special Parent's Handbook", a practical, hands-on parenting ...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 23 March, 2014
Dr Aoife Lyons, licensed clinical psychologist and university lecturer in UCD and DCU, puts herse...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 2 May, 2013
Ann Kennedy is a 60 year old lady living with Asperger's Syndrome. In this incredibly honest pie...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 1 May, 2013
In this article our regular contributor, Carrie Burton, shares her experiences of preparing her d...[...]
by AsIAm.ie - 14 February, 2013
Today we finally got an opportunity to catch up with Dr. Gillian Smith, Founder and Principal Pr...[...]