The national autism charity of Ireland, AsIAm in conjunction with the St. John of Gods Foundation aim to support, inform and guide families with the first in a three-part series of vital resources
Over the past number of years, Autism has enjoyed greater visibility and awareness among the general public in Ireland. However, there is still a level of uncertainty when it comes to how a parent or guardian might go about having their child assessed and diagnosed. Great uncertainty also exists among society in relation to what language is appropriate to use when talking about and to those on the autism spectrum.
Produced by Ireland’s National Autism Charity, AsIAm, the first of three resource packs, published today is aimed at parents/guardians and includes a range of vital information including:
- What is Autism
- The diagnostic criteria for Autism
- How to get an assessment for your child
- Autism and language acceptance
- School supports
- Financial supports and resources
AsIAm made the decision to publish the resource as a result of the high volume of daily correspondence from concerned families all over the country who didn’t know where to turn for help. They needed information, support and guidance about how to get their children assessed and what to do following a diagnosis.
Ahead of today’s launch, CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris said,” I am delighted that we are launching this vital resource, in association with St. John of God Community Services, for parents and guardians across Ireland who are in desperate need of factual information and support. Autism has only become more widely understood in recent years and there is a long way to go in terms of appropriate supports and true inclusion and acceptance. Our aim for this resource is that families will have a place to go to get them off to the best start on their journey and give their children the best support they can. Every new journey brings with it concerns, questions and unknowns, and we hope that this resource pack will provide people with the knowledge required to understand the path better”.
This resource pack was produced in conjunction with Lucena Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Dublin, one of the community services the Saint John of God Foundation supports. CAMHS provides services for young people under age 18 with moderate/severe mental health concerns.
Sonia Morris is a clinical psychologist with Lucena, she said, “It has been a great privilege for the Foundation and Lucena CAMHS to partner with AsIAm and to be involved in the publication of ‘Starting the Autism Journey’, which is one of a three-part autism resource series. The aim of Lucena CAMHS’s involvement in these publications is to promote autism acceptance and widen public understanding of autism. At CAMHS, we recognise the negative impact of late identification, stigmatisation, and environmental demands (e.g., school) on the mental health of autistic individuals. We hope that this publication goes some way to preventing moderate/ severe mental health concerns in the autistic community”.