Home > Education > “Back to School”: Buddy System

“Back to School”: Buddy System

Many parents at this time of the year will be concerned about their son / daughter being left behind socially by other students in school. Aside from the need we all have to be included, to interact with others our own age and to build friendships, their is an all too high occurrence of bullying of those on the Autism Spectrum.

However, where young people with Autism do get the opportunity to mix, make friends and have fun like any other student the benefits flow both ways. A key element of education is to build empathy and understand other people in our society – when neuro-typical students get to interact and understand students with Autism this takes place. Additionally, we think all our readers will recognise that a friend, who has Autism, will espouse loyalty, care and honesty – core values of any strong friendship.

So, rather than dwell on the challenges those with Autism have, when it comes to making friends, lets try and do something positive this academic year and get “Buddy Systems” set up in as many schools as possible.

There are different types of buddy systems out there so we thought we would share a few different models here, why not talk to your school about the possibility of one of these approaches if they are not already in place?

Peer-to-Peer Buddy System for Student with Autism

This approach sees a small group of students in a class being made “buddies” for a student with Autism. They are made aware of particular challenges this student has and asked to take special care to include them, to be on the look out for any bullying or exclusion and to be supportive to the student if they get stressed out or upset at break time or in class.

The students who are selected, would be chosen for their maturity and kindness. Parental consent would be sought from the parents of the students involved. A key thing to consider for this approach is that the student with Autism, and his or her parents, would have to be comfortable with the buddies understanding that they are a little different or, if they were comfortable, that they had Autism / Aspergers and what that meant.

Some schools will suggest a talk to the class about Autism as a whole (with or without your son/daughter present depending on your preference) and then seeking volunteers for the system and either rotating students or selecting the best candidates. While other schools will simply try to identify the best students for the job and train them directly.

This has worked well for many students with the condition in the past – especially when starting in a new school or moving to Secondary School. The buddies involved also learn leadership skills and get a chance to get to know the student well! While not every student with Autism will instantly begin to socialise or make friends, this approach will at very least ensure inclusion and also that there is a friendly pair of eyes when teachers are not present or are out of ear-shot.

Peer-to-Peer Buddy System for all Students

This is another option and something some schools do anyway and can perhaps pay special attention to a student with Autism’ needs in the process.

Everyone needs a buddy sometimes – maybe a student is having a bad day, is upset about something or just isn’t very good at starting conversations or making friends alone. Under this system, a class would explore difference as a whole and recognise that everyone in a class is different and so has different needs, strengths, abilities and oddities. They would then either be paired up or each student would draw a name and become “buddy” to that person, perhaps without them even being made aware of it. Before the draw or pairing it could be discussed with the teacher, to ensure a student with Autism gets an especially strong buddy.

The advantage of this system is that it does not single out the student with Autism, especially if they are not comfortable with that, and instead includes everyone. Additionally, it gives the person with Autism a role in being a buddy also, which can be used to teach social skills, expectations and etiquette.

The disadvantage of this system is as it is so broad and as a result, gives less of a sense of responsibility to students, is that if it becomes a joke or something not taken seriously during the year, the student with Autism may not benefit from the support of a buddy!

Older Student “Buddy”

This is a system in place in many schools but perhaps not always fully utilised for students with Autism. Under this system, generally the most senior year in the school act as buddies for the younger students. If this system does take place in your school, enquire if there is a student who may have experience of Autism already, is particularly caring or maybe would like to study to become a carer or psychologist after school.

This system is especially helpful in preventing bullying and exclusion as the buddy can see the student they are assigned when a teachers are maybe not around. Additionally, if a student with Autism is only beginning Secondary School the buddy can play an important role in showing them around, helping them to make friends and to find help if they get stressed.

If your son / daughter is in Secondary School and the system is only open to 1st years, ask if a prefect can be assigned to be a friendly face for your son or daughter or consider if one of the above methods, or the many other variations out there, could be employed.

Like many things about Autism, there is not one size fits all approach to a buddy system. It is about identifying a model or template which works for your son / daughter and the school, and adopting it to fit their specific needs, comfort zone and circumstance.

Have you any experience of the buddy system? Would you recommend any other models? Share with us in the comment section below!

 

by - 28 August, 2014

Last updated by - August 28, 2014

in Education, Featured News, Socialising

Can this be improved? Contact webeditor@asiam.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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It's World Autism Awareness Month and our opportunity to shine a light on issues affecting our co...[...]

Join Team AsIAm

by - 28 March, 2017

HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR ASIAM BY TAKING PART IN THE SSE AIRTRICITY DUBLIN CITY MARATHON 2017 AsIAm a...[...]

Top Tips for a Successful St. Patrick’s Day

by - 17 March, 2017

Well excitement will have been building, in schools across Ireland, over the past week for the an...[...]

BLOG: Hello from the other side

by - 10 March, 2017

Trish Flood, a mum to two boys on the Autism Spectrum and a super advocate for the Autism Communi...[...]

Stepping off the treadmill: Getting a Diagnosis as an Adult

by - 10 March, 2017

A blog by Brian Irwin,  AsIAm Volunteer & Secondary School Speaker in the Cork Region [captio...[...]

Autism & Me Documentary – Monday 13th March, 9:35pm on RTE One

by - 8 March, 2017

We are very exciting for the release of a new RTE One Documentary, produced by Firebrand Producti...[...]

Step into the shoes of someone with Autism – FREE Autism Experience Exhibition to visit Tallaght Stadium

by - 7 January, 2017

We are very excited for the AsIAm “Autism Experience” Exhibition to visit Tallaght Stadium on Thu...[...]

SURVEY: Demand for 2nd Level Autism Class in D2, D4, D6/6W

by - 15 December, 2016

 For many children on the Autism Spectrum, the transition to mainstream Secondary School represen...[...]

The Autism Experience Exhibition is coming to Portlaoise!

by - 22 November, 2016

We are very excited for the AsIAm “Autism Experience” Exhibition to visit the Portlaoise Heritage...[...]

Bring your school/youth club – Autism Experience Exhibition to visit Ennis

by - 10 October, 2016

We are so excited to be bringing our YouthHub "Autism Experience" Exhibition to the Temple Gate H...[...]

AsIAm “The Autism Experience” Exhibition to visit Ennis

by - 8 October, 2016

We are very excited to announce the AsIAm "Autism Experience" Exhibition will visit the Temple Ga...[...]

NEW SERIES – “AutismQs” – Your Questions, Answered

by - 9 September, 2016

During the month of September, AsIAm is excited to be bringing you a whole range of new content, ...[...]

VIDEO: AsIAm Says Hi – What supports are available to students with Autism?

by - 8 September, 2016

There is so many different people and organisations doing great things to support people with Aut...[...]

VIDEO: Autism – Emily’s perspective as a sibling

by - 6 September, 2016

We recently came across this extraordinary video on YouTube. The video features the sibling of a ...[...]

NEW: Adam’s Video Blog

by - 1 September, 2016

Hey everyone! Since Day 1, I have tried to keep everyone posted on our work via a regular blog. I...[...]

Community Voice: Our September Wishlist

by - 1 September, 2016

AsIAm is all about the voice of the Autism community. We love nothing more than receiving content...[...]

NEW MONTHLY COMPETITION: Your thoughts on…

by - 1 September, 2016

We are excited to announce a new monthly competition on AsIAm.ie! Every month we will ask users t...[...]

Top Tips: Supporting a son/daughter making the move to 3rd Level

by - 29 August, 2016

Watching a son or daughter make the move to college can be nerve-wracking and emotional for any p...[...]

Top Tips for a Successful First Year in College

by - 29 August, 2016

The Leaving Cert Results are in, the offers have been made and the summer is drawing rapidly to a...[...]

Fantastic, FREE Autism Training for Parents & Teachers

by - 18 August, 2016

We frequently receive enquiries from parents and teachers in relation enquiring about training op...[...]

AsIAm 100km Cycle – A great success!

by - 9 June, 2016

The Inaugural AsIAm 100km Cycle took place on Saturday 28th May, starting in the Killiney Castle ...[...]

Support Our Cyclists: Inaugural AsIAm 100km Fundraising Cycle

by - 20 May, 2016

It's nearly the 28th May and that can mean just one thing - the Inaugural AsIAm 100km Fundraising...[...]

Marathons (Mini & Large!) – Run, Walk or Crawl for AsIAm.ie

by - 30 January, 2016

The first day of Spring looms and so it is almost time to knock off the cobwebs and get back in s...[...]

Adam’s Blog: What do we mean by a “good school”?

by - 26 January, 2016

In recent times my blogs have tended to be updates on our work as opposed to addressing issues di...[...]

Ireland’s first autism friendly university might be on the way…

by - 20 January, 2016

We were delighted to see coverage of our new project, with DCU and Specialisterne Ireland in to...[...]

Survey: What attitude do neurotypical young people have towards young people with Autism?

by - 11 January, 2016

AsIAm.ie is currently preparing a major national awareness campaign aimed at educating neurotypic...[...]

AsIAm National Autism Conference 2016 – “Empowering Potential”

by - 9 December, 2015

AsIAm is pleased to announce that we will host our Inaugural National Autism Conference, during...[...]

Public Meetings – AsIAm Youth Awareness Campaign

by - 25 November, 2015

Calling all young people with Autism & Family Members! As you probably know, AsIAm recently ...[...]

Adam’s Blog: On the Road – literally and metaphorically!

by - 29 October, 2015

The last few weeks have been insanely busy for us in AsIAm.ie, with the "Back to School" period s...[...]

Exciting News: AsIAm YOUth Panel & Autism Awareness Campaign

by - 23 October, 2015

AsIAm is delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Department of Justice a...[...]

Survey: Proposed National Autism Conference

by - 24 September, 2015

AsIAm.ie is excited to announce that we will hold our Inaugural Conference in 2016! We hope thi...[...]

Yvonne Newbold: Top Tips for Parents at the start of the School Year

by - 8 September, 2015

Yvonne Newbold is a parent and advocate for those affected by Autism in the UK. Yvonne wrote a bo...[...]

Fionn Hamill: The Challenge of Change in a New School Year

by - 7 September, 2015

Our Friend and Frequent Blogger, Fionn Hamill, writes on the challenges of change in the new scho...[...]

Michael Ryan: Secondary School – Getting off to the right start

by - 1 September, 2015

Starting or returning to Secondary School can be a big change and a challenge for all students, h...[...]

Opportunity: Become an AsIAm School Speaker

by - 6 August, 2015

AsIAm.ie is spending August gearing up for our Secondary Schools Programme 2015/16 - which will s...[...]

Adam’s Blog: To educate children, we must educate parents too

by - 6 July, 2015

If you ever have the opportunity to discuss Autism with a young child I highly recommend it. I ha...[...]

#AskTheDentist – LIVE AT 8PM!

by - 22 June, 2015

  To go direct to the Q&A please click here AsIAm aims to provide you access to the be...[...]

Interview: Dina Andreucetti of Brasserie 7 on Autism-Friendly Sittings

by - 22 June, 2015

On the 31st March 2015, AsIAm launched its new initiative "AsYouCan", aimed at engaging civic soc...[...]

Adam’s Blog: When we talk to people, they are listening!

by - 15 June, 2015

Hey everyone, It's been a couple of weeks since I've written a blog, but we have made exciting p...[...]

Have your voice heard: Study on Irish Adults with Autism

by - 11 May, 2015

It is often said that there is a lack of services and awareness of the challenges adults with Asp...[...]

AsYouCan: Focus on Sports & Extra-Curricular Clubs

by - 22 April, 2015

As part of our “AsYouCan” Campaign, for World Autism Awareness Month, each day in April we will s...[...]

President Michael D. Higgins becomes Patron of AsIAm.ie

by - 22 April, 2015

AsIAm.ie is pleased to announce that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has kindly agr...[...]

“AsYouCan”: Focus on Healthcare

by - 14 April, 2015

As part of our “AsYouCan” Campaign, for World Autism Awareness Month, each day in April we will s...[...]

Adam’s Blog: “AsYouCan” Campaign Update

by - 13 April, 2015

Good morning all! I am on a train to Roscommon, where we will today bring our Schools Programme t...[...]

“AsYouCan”: Focus on Public Transport

by - 10 April, 2015

As part of our “AsYouCan” Campaign, for World Autism Awareness Month, each day in April we will s...[...]

“AsYouCan”: Focus on Restaurants & Bars

by - 9 April, 2015

As part of our “AsYouCan” Campaign, for World Autism Awareness Month, each day in April we will...[...]

“AsYouCan”: Focus on Retail

by - 8 April, 2015

  As part of our "AsYouCan" Campaign, for World Autism Awareness Month, each day in April...[...]

AsYouCan Campaign – What can you do to be more Autism-Friendly?

by - 1 April, 2015

This World Autism Awareness Month, AsIAm is calling on every individual, organisation and sector ...[...]

Sean Foley: Retail and Aspergers Syndrome

by - 23 February, 2015

Sean Foley, a frequent blogger on this site, shares his experiences of retail, both sides of th...[...]

If society was to change in one small way, what should it do?

by - 13 February, 2015

We need you help! We are currently working on a campaign aimed at engaging various different sect...[...]

Julie Direen: Why I wouldn’t change my son one bit!

by - 12 February, 2015

Being a parent of a child with Autism can be challenging but, as Julie Direen shares, it can also...[...]

Sean Foley: A High-Functioning Airline?

by - 4 February, 2015

Sean Foley is a self-advocate, based in Co. Kerry. Sean frequently writes and speaks about his ex...[...]

Carrie Burton: Acceptance and Understanding is key

by - 2 February, 2015

[caption id="attachment_3318" align="alignleft" width="300"] Carrie, centre, at our recent "Back ...[...]

Fionn Hamill: How I learned to mix with people, P2

by - 30 January, 2015

In Part 2 of his awesome blog on learning to mix with other people, Fionn Hamill talks sports tea...[...]

Video: I am just like you

by - 29 January, 2015

We received this from a parent and we love the message - Autism is only one part of anyone! It's ...[...]

Fionn Hamill: How did I learn to mix with people?

by - 28 January, 2015

Fionn Hamill, a frequent blogger here and on his own blog, autisticandproud.wordpress.com, shares...[...]

Adam appears on “The Saturday Night Show”

by - 26 January, 2015

Our Founder, Adam Harris joined Brendan O'Connor on "The Saturday Night Show", last week , to dis...[...]

Adam’s Blog: How you can get involved & why we need YOU!

by - 24 January, 2015

I am sitting here preparing for "The Saturday Night Show", which I will be appearing on this even...[...]

Good News Monday: Joe Smidt visits the Terenure Tigers

by - 16 January, 2015

The Terenure Tigers are an inclusive Rugby team serving children, with a special need or needs, i...[...]

Full Coverage: Middletown Centre for Autism “Enabling Education” Conference

by - 8 January, 2015

The Middletown Centre for Autism recently held a super international conference entitled "Enablin...[...]

Grainne Lynch: The Year Ahead …

by - 6 January, 2015

Grainne Lynch is a business woman, nurse, Autism and advocate and parent of a son with Autism. Ch...[...]

AsIAm seeks cultural and legislative change to protect vulnerable people

by - 10 December, 2014

The online support and advocacy group for people with autism, AsIAm.ie, has said Ireland needs ...[...]

OPEN FOR ENQUIRIES: AsIAm Secondary School Workshop

by - 8 December, 2014

AsIAm.ie recently launched its first programme, which see trained volunteers visit Secondary Scho...[...]

Jonathan Victory: Aspergers Syndrome & Martial Arts

by - 5 December, 2014

Jonathan Victory shares his positive experiences of Martial Arts as someone with Aspergers Synd...[...]

HELP NEEDED: Putting Autism on the Map – AsIAm Mapping of Autism Services

by - 3 December, 2014

AsIAm.ie was founded to help to empower people and families affected by Autism, through arming th...[...]

Sensory Simulation: What is the supermarket like if you have Autism?

by - 27 November, 2014

Have you ever been in the Supermarket and seen a child "making a scene" or getting very agitated ...[...]

Good News & Public Meeting : Anthony Doolan & Carer’s Allowance

by - 25 November, 2014

Anthony Doolan is the Founder and Coordinator of the Kildare / West Dublin Autism Parents Support...[...]

AsIAm School Speakers – Coming to a Secondary School near you in 2015!

by - 24 November, 2014

AsIAm is delighted to announce that we will shortly begin accepting bookings from Secondary Schoo...[...]

Dolores Crowley: Let’s focus on the positives

by - 10 November, 2014

Dolores Crowley works for Financial Wellbing, advising parents of children with Special Needs abo...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Schools, Support Groups & the Summit

by - 10 November, 2014

It has been a crazy few weeks! I haven't had the chance to blog personally and update everyone on...[...]

Call-Out: AsIAm School Speakers Required!

by - 5 November, 2014

1 in 100 people now have Autism in Ireland, no student will go through life without meeting, livi...[...]

Autism Community – Events Diary: November

by - 4 November, 2014

AsIAm works hard to bring all the brilliant work and events around the country into one place for...[...]

Free Ebook: 30 Winning Tips for Better Meetings by Yvonne Newbold

by - 31 October, 2014

One stressful aspect of being a parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum is getting the right sup...[...]

Cheer Up Tuesday: One Young World – “Move to Include”

by - 21 October, 2014

We have been out there this morning and it is a cold, drab day out there! Need a cheer-up? Then, ...[...]

AUCTION: Calling all GAA & Golf Fanatics!

by - 16 October, 2014

On Halloween 2014, the Opening Training College is organising a fundraising coffee morning for 4 ...[...]

Bray Lions Club: “The Great Bray Table Quiz” in aid of AsIAm.ie!

by - 10 October, 2014

AsIAm.ie has always been lucky to enjoy the help and support of Bray Lions Club and the Lions Clu...[...]

SURVEY: Autism Spectrum Conditions and Employment

by - 8 October, 2014

AsIAm.ie is committed to addressing the social issues surrounding Autism. We have been aware for ...[...]

Lisa Domican: If I can’t talk, how can I tell you where it hurts?

by - 1 October, 2014

Lisa Domican, Founder of Grace App, talks about the challenge for parents in identifying pain in ...[...]

Being a young researcher in the field of Autism: How I got here and where I want to go.

by - 30 September, 2014

Niamh McDevitt is a PhD student in Trinity College Dublin, and a research in the field of Autis...[...]

Parents Guide: Birthday Parties

by - 29 September, 2014

Attending, and having, a Birthday party is an important part of growing up! For children with A...[...]

Alan Cuthbert: Setting up a Special Needs Bank Account

by - 26 September, 2014

Many of our parent users are interested and concerned about the financial and legal security of t...[...]

Dr. Rod Pitcher: Finding out I had Aspergers Syndrome…

by - 25 September, 2014

Dr. Rod Pitcher, PhD, shares his experiences growing up without knowing he had Aspergers Syndrome...[...]

HEA Consultation: How can we make Higher Education better for people with Autism?

by - 15 September, 2014

Do you have a condition on the Autism Spectrum? Have you a son/daughter with the condition? Are y...[...]

RTE News Six:One – AsIAm.ie “Back to School” Handbooks

by - 10 September, 2014

The challenges of "Back to School" for students with Autism, and the launch of the AsIAm.ie "Back...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Schools Programme Update

by - 9 September, 2014

It has been an exciting few weeks since my last blog, with the launch of our "Back to School" Han...[...]

Declan Lynch: Am I glad my son is autistic?

by - 8 September, 2014

Last week, Declan talked about coming to terms with diagnosis, from the point of view of a fathe...[...]

Aspire Ireland Drama Classes

by - 4 September, 2014

There are limited places available on the highly successful Aspire Drama in Education Programme...[...]

Declan Lynch: “These results place your child on the Autistic Spectrum”

by - 2 September, 2014

Often fathers find it more difficult to come to terms with diagnosis, or are left out of the disc...[...]

Video: “Listen” – An insight into Autism

by - 28 August, 2014

We came across this video by designer / animator, Marisabel Fernandez. "Listen", tries to give an...[...]

Looking for Inclusive Sport? Check out the Terenure Tigers!

by - 27 August, 2014

Yesterday we featured a blog from parent, Kenneth Whelan, about the benefits CoderDojo, as an ext...[...]

AUTISM EVENTS: Make use of the AsIAm Calender!

by - 27 August, 2014

AsIAm.ie is aiming to be the one-stop-shop of information on Autism in Ireland, in recent weeks w...[...]

Fionn Hamill: Back to School, are you ready?

by - 27 August, 2014

Back to School, are you ready? Here our regular blogger, Fionn Hamill, shares his answer and give...[...]

What do they do? – A Guide to the various education agencies / officers

by - 26 August, 2014

Back to School means back to an endless number of phone calls, letters and meetings, for many par...[...]

Parents Discussion: Ideas, Experiences and Concerns around “Back to School”

by - 25 August, 2014

Since our successful "Back to School" Handbooks launch last week, we have been delighted with the...[...]

Kenneth Whelan: “Why don’t you take Ethan to this CoderDojo thing?”

by - 25 August, 2014

Many families affected by Autism may be considering possible suitable extra-curricular activities...[...]

My Child / All About Me Handbooks: Every child with Autism is different

by - 24 August, 2014

There is an old adage: "If you know one person with Autism, you know one person with Autism" It ...[...]

Photo Gallery: AsIAm “Back to School” Media Launch

by - 23 August, 2014

We are delighted with the response we have received from our recent media launch of our "Back to ...[...]

Newstalk Breakfast: Vanessa Fox-O’Loughlin shares her story & AsIAm “Back to School” Handbooks

by - 22 August, 2014

Yesterday we were delighted to launch our AsIAm "Back to School" Handbooks for teachers, parents...[...]

Press Conference: AsIAm “Back to School” Handbooks

by - 21 August, 2014

AsIAm.ie has today published a series of guides to help people with autism deal with the major ch...[...]

Sean O’Rourke Show Podcast: AsIAm “Back to School” Handbooks

by - 20 August, 2014

Tomorrow, AsIAm will launch its "Back to School" Handbooks on Autism, for parents, students and t...[...]

Download Today: AsIAm “Back to School” Handbooks

by - 20 August, 2014

Education can throw up many challenges for students with Autism such as the environment, structur...[...]

Bray Lakers Video – Who needs Garth Brooks?

by - 28 July, 2014

These past few weeks the country has been inconsolable due to the Garth Brooks saga. Here at AsI...[...]

Improving our site for people with Autism & Intellectual Disabilities

by - 24 July, 2014

AsIAm.ie is committed to continuously improving the service we offer, in  order to live true to o...[...]

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: New Foróige Youth Club for Teens with ASD – coming to Goatstown October 2014

by - 24 July, 2014

Foróige, Ireland's leading national youth organisation changing the lives of young people aged 10...[...]

Your Ideas – AsIAm Schools Programme

by - 23 July, 2014

School plays a major part in everyone's life at some stage - first as a student and then, often, ...[...]

Research Opportunity: HFA / AS & Anxiety

by - 7 July, 2014

Bronagh Flynn is a PhD researcher in the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin. She is cur...[...]

SPOT Therapy Summer Camp & Preparing for changes in school

by - 3 July, 2014

SPOT Therapy shares time on preparing for changes in school and about their summer camp. Prepari...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Our first AsIAm Liaison Officer Meeting

by - 27 June, 2014

I haven't had the opportunity to write my own blog on the site for a few weeks as we have been bu...[...]

Joanne Fine: Lego Camp

by - 25 June, 2014

Joanne Fine is a speech & Language Therapist working in a private capacity in DLR (Buttercup ...[...]

NCSE SNA Allocations

by - 25 June, 2014

The National Council for Special Education has published its SNA allocation for September 2014, o...[...]

Carrie Burton: Jack makes three for us

by - 17 June, 2014

Frequent blogger and AsIAm Liaison Officer, Carrie Burton, writes of the challenges of a third di...[...]

Sinead Farrelly: Living with Asperger’s in College

by - 17 June, 2014

Sinead Farrelly bravely tells us what it's been like being an 'aspie' in college. Originally publ...[...]

Social Opportunities for Adults

by - 16 June, 2014

For those of on the Spectrum, socialising can definitely be tough. This is true especially in the...[...]

Yvonne Newbold: 10 Great Things People with Autism can add to society

by - 3 June, 2014

Yvonne Newbold is the author of "The Special Parent's Handbook", a practical, hands-on parenting ...[...]

Ambassador of Ability: Amazing performance by Martin Finn on “The Late Late Show”

by - 17 May, 2014

We were really inspired by the appearance of Martin Finn and his father, John, on the "The Late L...[...]

Adam’s Blog: From Morocco to the Aras

by - 9 May, 2014

It has certainly been a very busy few weeks and so I am sorry to only be finding the time to upda...[...]

Our visit to Aras an Uachtarain

by - 9 May, 2014

AsIAm.ie Press Release and Photo Gallery from our recent visit to Aras an Uachtarain Tuesday May ...[...]

Fionn & Caoilte Hamill: Our Trip to the AsIAm Launch

by - 23 April, 2014

On Monday a few weeks ago, our family drove up the road to Dublin. As you may know, Adam Harris i...[...]

CALL-OUT: Local AsIAm Liaison Officers

by - 23 April, 2014

Since launch day we have been working hard, travelling Ireland to promote our message and buildin...[...]

Claire Heylin: The abilities of children with Aspergers Syndrome

by - 15 April, 2014

Primary school teacher Claire Heylin taught in the Asperger’s unit in St Joseph’s CBS, Fairview, ...[...]

Shauna Gilligan: “Mama, the sunrise is orange”

by - 14 April, 2014

Shauna Gilligan is a writer and mother of a son on the Autism Spectrum. In the article below, she...[...]

Carrie Burton: A second diagnosis in the family

by - 14 April, 2014

Frequent blogger, Carrie Burton, writes on the recent diagnosis of her second child, Ava, with AD...[...]

WAA Week Round-Up

by - 7 April, 2014

It's only the start of World Autism Awareness Month, but for many the week around World Autism Aw...[...]

Minister Reilly comments on launch of AsIAm.ie

by - 7 April, 2014

Minister Reilly's recent statement on the launch of AsIAm.ie The Minister for Health, Dr. James ...[...]

OPEN: July Provision Applications

by - 7 April, 2014

Children on the Autism Spectrum are eligible for a maximum of 40 hours tuition (or 10 hours per w...[...]

Dr Aoife Lyons: Organisational & Study Skills

by - 5 April, 2014

  Dr Aoife Lyons, licensed clinical psychologist and university lecturer in UCD and DCU, ha...[...]

Lorraine Dempsey – Getting the real message of Autism to the public

by - 5 April, 2014

This week we celebrated World Autism Awareness Day #WAAD2014, but what does that really entail? W...[...]

Knocktemple NS Autism Awareness Week

by - 4 April, 2014

Knocktemple National School was the first school in Cavan to set up an Autism class, 7 years ago....[...]

Mairead Quinn: Our Doggy Superheroes

by - 4 April, 2014

April  is Autism Awareness Month but we’re aware of Autism 365 days a year in our house. Our hom...[...]

Noel Quigley: Our lovely daughter with Autism

by - 3 April, 2014

Following on from his recent article on his son with Aspergers, Noel, an AsiAm.ie board member, w...[...]

Vanessa Fox-O’Loughlin: Get Writing for AsIAm.ie

by - 3 April, 2014

Vanessa is an author, agent and director of writing.ie, Ireland's national writing website. She a...[...]

Lisa Domican: A is for Acceptance

by - 2 April, 2014

Lisa Domican is a mother of 2 children (Grace and Liam, pictured) on the Autism Spectrum and a so...[...]

Adam’s Blog: This WAAD – Let’s “normalise” diversity

by - 2 April, 2014

My blog for World Autism Awareness Day - By Adam Harris Normal is a strange word we use to defin...[...]

Carrie Burton: Autism has made us who we are

by - 2 April, 2014

Regular blogger, Carrie Burton, talks about how Autism has challenged, but also strengthened, her...[...]

VIDEO: Living with Autism – AsIAm.ie Stakeholders

by - 2 April, 2014

As part of our launch celebrations and preparations for World Autism Awareness Day 2014. We aske...[...]

Grainne Lynch: The Journey – Diagnosis and Education

by - 2 April, 2014

Grainne Lynch is a business woman, nurse, Autism and advocate and parent of a son with Autism. Ch...[...]

Launch Poem: Erin Fornoff

by - 2 April, 2014

Erin Fornoff is a published poet and Artistic Director for Lingo, Ireland’s first spoken work fes...[...]

Asperger’s Story – Noel Quigley

by - 1 April, 2014

Noel Quigley is a Board Member of AsIAm.ie - here he shares his experiences of raising a son with...[...]

What do YOU want us to do?

by - 1 April, 2014

Well.. last night was launch night! It was amazing to hear the excitement at the event from stak...[...]

AsIAm Launch: Adam’s Speech

by - 1 April, 2014

We held our formal media launch last night - showcasing our site and outlining our aspirations to...[...]

Dr Aoife Lyons: Things students with Autism or ADHD would like their teachers to know

by - 23 March, 2014

Dr Aoife Lyons, licensed clinical psychologist and university lecturer in UCD and DCU, puts herse...[...]

This Week: 5 Must-See Autism Videos

by - 9 March, 2014

To bring to life what we have been talking about on AsIAm.ie, today we bring you 5 must-see video...[...]

Want to win a Zoomer Dog? To be in with a chance, register in next 48 hours!

by - 17 February, 2014

We have spent the last 2 months focusing on getting the sites content to a high standard and list...[...]

Good News: Happy Birthday Colin

by - 12 February, 2014

Its a wet, miserable evening outside so we decided it was important to share something positive! ...[...]

Safe Internet Day: An Autism Perspective

by - 11 February, 2014

AsIAm.ie would like to take this opportunity to mark the important occasion that is Safe Internet...[...]

New Research: Why do those of us with Autism withdraw?

by - 6 February, 2014

Enjoys his/her own company. Amused by his/her own thoughts. Detached from surroundings. Self-impo...[...]

Video: “What is Autism”

by - 4 February, 2014

Galway Autism Partnership has created this super video "Autism is". The question "What is Autism...[...]

Event: Lego Therapy Sessions

by - 3 February, 2014

AsIAm.ie is delighted to share this event notice for Buttercup Speech and Language Therapy, who w...[...]

What I wish I’d known about Aspergers

by - 3 February, 2014

In this guest blog, our contributor brilliantly gives, what so many parents of children with Auti...[...]

Newstalk Mindfeed: “Pitch of the Week”

by - 2 February, 2014

Adam Harris was on Newstalk MindFeed this morning with Norah Casey for "Pitch of the Week" Durin...[...]

Withdrawal Rooms Campaign: Morning Ireland

by - 30 January, 2014

AsIAm.ie is continuing to campaign on the issue of the misuse of withdrawal/isolation rooms in AS...[...]

Under-16s with ADHD now entitled to Long-Term Illness Card

by - 28 January, 2014

The Ombudsman, Peter Tyndall, has recommended that all people with ADHD be deemed automatically e...[...]

Public Perception: What YOU think. What I feel

by - 23 January, 2014

AsIAm.ie is committed to reaching out to the general public, who may have no knowledge of the con...[...]

Mary’s Blog: My views on managing behaviour in school – as a parent and SNA

by - 22 January, 2014

Mary Harris writes this week on her views of on managing and supporting a child with Autism's beh...[...]

Survey: National Autism Registry & Biobank

by - 22 January, 2014

As you may know, we have been delighted to be able to play some small part, in recent weeks, in t...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Importance of making Autism an issue for everyone

by - 20 January, 2014

A number of days ago I visited IADT in Dun Laoghaire to speak to "Psyc Soc" the college's society...[...]

Research Opportunity: Identifying Risk Factors in Autism

by - 17 January, 2014

AsIAm.ie is delighted to share this research opportunity with our users. If you are interested in...[...]

Petition: Withdrawal Rooms in ASD Units

by - 13 January, 2014

  Some of our readers may have seen an article on TheJournal.ie this morning in relation to...[...]

Publich Consultation Meeting – Establishment of National Registry for Autism and Related Disorders

by - 9 January, 2014

AsIAm.ie is delighted to be helping with this important project - we hope to see many of you at t...[...]

Planes, Asperger Syndrome, and Airports

by - 8 January, 2014

Introduction My name is Sean Foley. I am 25 years old and I have Asperger Syndrome – an autistic...[...]

Travels with my Aspergers Syndrome

by - 7 January, 2014

In 2013 I had more travel experiences than in any year gone by in my 25 years on the planet. Most...[...]

Wishlist: January 6th – Sunday 12th January 2013

by - 6 January, 2014

Do you really want to spend another week with us just talking, talking, talking at you? We don't!...[...]

Tips for SNAs in the Post-Christmas Re-Adjustment Period

by - 6 January, 2014

Mary Harris (Mother of Adam, SNA & Director of AsIAm.ie) shares her tips on helping and suppo...[...]

Book Review: The Rosie Project

by - 6 January, 2014

Vanesssa Fox-O'Loughlin is a Director of AsIAm.ie and the Founder and Editor of Writing.ie. Over ...[...]

State Exams Students: Facing Back to School

by - 5 January, 2014

Between now and June is a big time for everyone doing the Junior or Leaving Cert this year. It wo...[...]

Back to School Blues: Parent’s Guide

by - 4 January, 2014

Santa has been and gone and turkey dinners are, by now, just a far and distant memory..... and on...[...]

Wishlists

by - 2 January, 2014

AsIAm.ie is committed to providing you with the most relevant, interesting and human stories and ...[...]

Family Guide: Minimise Stress & Maximise Fun at Christmas

by - 18 December, 2013

Christmas time is an extra busy time in all homes ,routine changes, our houses are usually busier...[...]

Autism and Video games

by - 16 December, 2013

"Everything in moderation" is a classic cliche and yet it really sums up good advice when it come...[...]

Vote for Fionn

by - 12 December, 2013

Our friend, frequent blogger and fellow Autism awareness activist, Fionn Hamill, has been nominat...[...]

Adam’s Blog: AsIAm is finally here!

by - 10 December, 2013

It is 3 years next month, from when I first sat down in the International Bar, in Wicklow Street,...[...]

Susan Boyle: I have Aspergers Syndrome

by - 10 December, 2013

We here in AsIAm have been reading, with much interest, the announcement from Susan Boyle, in an ...[...]

Adam’s Blog: What I have been up to?

by - 29 July, 2013

Hi Everyone! It has been a couple of busy weeks since I have had the chance to sit down and upda...[...]

Fionn & Helen Hamill: AS & The Challenges of School Holidays

by - 10 July, 2013

School holidays, especially the long Summer break, can be very challenging times for people wit...[...]

Adam appointed to NCSE Consultative Forum

by - 5 July, 2013

We are delighted to announce that the National Council for Special Education appointed our Founde...[...]

Adam Harris’ Interview on SNAs and NCSE’s Announcement

by - 23 June, 2013

On Friday last, Adam joined Norah Casey of Newstalk Breakfast to discuss the role played by SNAs ...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Freedom at Last

by - 21 June, 2013

It took 2 years in special needs education and 12 in mainstream education but on Wednesday last I...[...]

Video: Dr Bill Heward, QUB Lecture

by - 8 May, 2013

Our friend, Dr. Karola Dillenburger, and the team in the Centre for Behavioral Analysis in Queens...[...]

Ann Kennedy: The challenges of growing up undiagnosed

by - 2 May, 2013

Ann Kennedy is a 60 year old lady living with Asperger's Syndrome. In this incredibly honest pie...[...]

Carrie Burton: Communion Day – The Day We Thought We’d Never See!

by - 1 May, 2013

In this article our regular contributor, Carrie Burton, shares her experiences of preparing her d...[...]

Ben: Our School Autism Talk

by - 25 April, 2013

We were delighted to open our inbox today and find this lovely article from Ben, in St. Cronan's ...[...]

Adam’s Blog: The Future Looks Bright

by - 23 April, 2013

Well it has been a few weeks since I have had the opportunity to blog. I have been working hell f...[...]

Arman Khodaei: The Challenge of Relationships

by - 16 April, 2013

In a bravely honest guest-blog from Arman Khodaei, Founder - Empower Autism Now, we get a really ...[...]

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin: Labels have Their Uses

by - 6 April, 2013

Vanessa Fox-O'Loughlin, a parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome and a member of the Board of...[...]

Fionn & Caoilte: What people should be aware of about Asperger’s

by - 2 April, 2013

It's World Autism Awareness Day so brothers, Fionn and Caoilte Hamill, fills us in on what he fe...[...]

“Autism Counts” IAA commissioned research from DCU

by - 2 April, 2013

"Autism Counts" a study conducted by the School of Nursing, Dublin City University and commission...[...]

Adam’s Blog: World Autism Awareness Day

by - 2 April, 2013

Happy World Autism Awareness Day! Throughout the globe today buildings such as the Empire State B...[...]

Fionn & Helen Hamill – Why we blog

by - 1 April, 2013

Writing about personal experiences can be tough - it can be considered embarrassing and many of u...[...]

Support: Holiday Time

by - 27 March, 2013

School's out! As you are aware the school's broke up for Easter on Friday and won't be back for a...[...]

Support: St. Patrick’s Day

by - 17 March, 2013

For many families and individuals on the Autistic Spectrum, the St. Patrick's Day festivities can...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Coping with the Senses

by - 12 March, 2013

It has been great to see some really interesting content on the site over the last couple of week...[...]

Mary’s Blog: Mother’s Day!

by - 10 March, 2013

There isn't a more challenging or demanding job than being a mother of a child on the Autistic Sp...[...]

Mother’s Day: Susan Browne – Amazing Brains

by - 10 March, 2013

Today is Mother's Day and we want to celebrate and support all those brilliant Mum's of children ...[...]

Caoilte Hamill: The Pros & Cons of having an older brother with Asperger’s!

by - 8 March, 2013

We were delighted to receive a blog from Caoilte Hamill, brother of Fionn - our regular contribut...[...]

Explainer: Autism Bill 2012

by - 8 March, 2013

Today Dail Eireann debates the Autism Bill 2012, tabled by Michael McCarthy TD, the bill, if pass...[...]

Carrie Burton: Asperger’s is like a Jigsaw Puzzle

by - 6 March, 2013

Parenting a child with Autism can be tough, and at time parents allow the stress, anxiety and wor...[...]

Louise Greene – My Experience of Social Stories

by - 27 February, 2013

Louise Greene shares her views and experiences of social stories in her latest piece for AsIAm.ie...[...]

Mary’s Blog – Food Fads

by - 25 February, 2013

This week, Mary writes about her experience of the foods fads and "fussy" eating habits of AS chi...[...]

Susan Helper – Our Experiences of AS & Drug Abuse

by - 25 February, 2013

Susan Helper is a parent of a young man with Aspergers who is recovering from a drug addiction in...[...]

Fionn Hamill: Meltdowns

by - 22 February, 2013

In this very frank and honest article, Fionn Hamill brilliantly explains what having a meltdown i...[...]

Keith Young – Life at Camp Akeela

by - 22 February, 2013

Keith Young, is a PhD student in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at the Univ...[...]

Aspergers Syndrome – The Need for a Whole Community Approach

by - 19 February, 2013

"People don't understand me". This is the response you will get from many people, of all ages, wi...[...]

Innovation: The Story of the Grace App

by - 18 February, 2013

In the latest article of our Innovation series, which celebrates and raises awareness of creative...[...]

Adam’s Blog: School Begins Again – What are your concerns?

by - 17 February, 2013

Well, it was good while it lasted, but tomorrow the morning tutorial bells will ring again and sc...[...]

Becky Heaver: “And a self-advocate is born”

by - 15 February, 2013

Becky Heaver, PhD, tells us about her work as a person with Aspergers Syndrome who also runs a s...[...]

Restarting Routine: Back to School

by - 15 February, 2013

Just the weekend now lies between the end of midterm and the long-dreaded return to school. Asper...[...]

Interview: Sensodyne Dentist of the Year, Dr. Gillian Smith

by - 14 February, 2013

Today we finally got an opportunity to catch up with Dr. Gillian Smith, Founder and Principal Pr...[...]

Innovation: Animated Language Learning (ALL)

by - 14 February, 2013

Innovation is a new series on AspergersAdvice.org which aims to highlight innovative developments...[...]

Ideas: Dealing with hypersensitivity / overstimulation Part 1

by - 13 February, 2013

Many people with Aspergers Syndrome find sensory overload (hypersensitivity / overstimulation) a ...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Anxiety

by - 12 February, 2013

In writing my blog this week I guess I am trying to address a topic which very much defines Asper...[...]

Video: 5 Top Aspergers-related videos

by - 11 February, 2013

Its a cold, wet Monday afternoon so we decided that it was time for some POSITIVITY. Take a loo...[...]

Fionn Hamill: The Strengths My Aspergers Gives Me

by - 10 February, 2013

Often Aspergers Syndrome or autism are betrayed as severe disabilities or challenges that can't ...[...]

Hannah Dyson: The Challenges of Concentration

by - 9 February, 2013

I think I am quite lucky in the fact that I know many Aspie people who cannot “switch off” to noi...[...]

Dr. Karola Dillenburger: A new look at a ” theory” of Autism

by - 3 February, 2013

Dr. Karola Dillenburger is the Professor of Behavioural Analysis and Education at Queen's Univers...[...]

Guest Blog: Fionn Hamill – My Most Annoying Habits

by - 2 February, 2013

Fionn Hamill, our guest blogger, tells us about his AS-related bad habits in his his latest fra...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Overcoming the Anxiety around Socialising

by - 2 February, 2013

I wanted to write this blog today in response to the fascinating content we have seen over the co...[...]

Interview: Ryan Lampour (W.A.D Rapper)

by - 1 February, 2013

Ryan Larmour is a 16 year old living in Northern Ireland, recently he has attracted attention on ...[...]

Guest Blog: Fionn Hamill – I like being different

by - 31 January, 2013

In his latest blog for AspergersAdvice.org, Fionn Hamill brilliantly explains how Aspergers Syn...[...]

It’s a Small World, Asper-All

by - 31 January, 2013

Jennifer O'Toole, Founder and CEO of AsperKids, writes about her recent trip to Europe to promote...[...]

Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome

by - 31 January, 2013

Dr. Cindy Ariel runs a psychology practise, Alternative Choices, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania an...[...]

Guest Blog: Fionn Hamill – Making Friends

by - 30 January, 2013

Today, Fionn Hamill, our guest blogger (see his blog Autisticandproud.wordpress.com) sheds some l...[...]

Mary’s Blog: Don’t be afraid to challenge your child to reach their potential

by - 30 January, 2013

In her latest blog post, Mary Harris discusses the benefits of challenging your child to fulfill ...[...]

Helen Hamill: Early Help

by - 30 January, 2013

He was 5 years old. We had noticed that even after reading his favourite book every night for mon...[...]

Carrie Burton – Living with Autism

by - 30 January, 2013

My daughter Mia has Aspergers. She is 8 and was first diagnosed when she was 4. It has been a lon...[...]

Guest Blogger: Fionn Hamill – Dislikes

by - 29 January, 2013

Fionn Hamill, this week's guest blogger, sheds some light on an important topic for so many peopl...[...]

Ruby Aspie – My Story

by - 29 January, 2013

We received this insightful piece from Ruby Aspie (pen name), which gives us a great insight into...[...]

Guest Blog: Fionn & Helen Hamill – School and its difficulties and advantages for Aspies

by - 28 January, 2013

The transition to Secondary School is a challenge for many people with Aspergers Syndrome, and ca...[...]

Guest Blog: Dr. Josie Dovidio – Dental Health Considerations & Aspergers Syndrome

by - 28 January, 2013

Dr. Josie (as most patients call her) spends her spare time delighting in her husband and 2 sons,...[...]

Guest Blog – Fionn Hamill: When Someone Dies

by - 28 January, 2013

Many people with Aspergers Syndrome struggle to define or understand their emotions, especially a...[...]

Guest Blog – Fionn Hamill: Performing in Pantomine

by - 26 January, 2013

Fionn Hamill, is a 12 year old boy with Aspergers Syndrome and he writes about his life at autist...[...]

Holly Adams: Teaching drama to children with AS

by - 24 January, 2013

Holly Adams shares her blog of her experiences of teaching drama and theater workshops to childre...[...]

Adam’s Blog: Challenges of Concentration and Hyperactivity

by - 23 January, 2013

Its unusual for me to be back here with another blog so quickly after my last however I feel comp...[...]

Irish Autism Action: CHASE Anti-Bullying Campign

by - 22 January, 2013

  Bullying and exclusion can be major barriers for people with Aspergers Syndrome and Autis...[...]

Toby Lee: Tip of the Day for Dyslexia

by - 19 January, 2013

Toby Lee is our guest blogger today. He works extensively with people with conditions like Dyslex...[...]

Mary’s Blog: The Importance of Early Intervention

by - 18 January, 2013

Mary Harris, mother of Adam Harris (Founder of AsIAm.ie), writes about the importance of early in...[...]

Adam’s Blog: The Recurring Question

by - 17 January, 2013

Should I tell my child they have Aspergers? How old where you when you found out you were autisti...[...]

Getting to College: DARE Scheme

by - 17 January, 2013

It's that time of year again! Students up and down the country are preparing to sit the Leaving C...[...]

DSM-V – What Does It All Mean?

by - 16 January, 2013

As many of you will be aware that American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently announced the p...[...]

Living with Aspergers: The Challenges of Adolescence

by - 31 December, 2012

Hannah Dyson is an adult living with Aspergers Syndrome in the United Kingdom. She will be writin...[...]

Video: Adam talks to Founder of Specialisterne, Thorkil Sonne

by - 19 December, 2012

AspergersAdvice's Adam Harris was at the recent launch of Specialisterne Ireland, a programme des...[...]

Adam’s Blog: AS and the Challenge of Exams

by - 12 December, 2012

It's been a few weeks since I have written a personal piece for the website so I decided that sin...[...]

Personal Story: Aspergers & Anxiety

by - 6 October, 2012

Louise Greene is mum to a 7 year old boy with Aspergers Syndrome. Below she tells of his struggl...[...]

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