Organisations that help people with autism

Autism effects one in 64 people in Ireland. There are offically 78,000 people in Ireland with the condition, however, that figure is said to be drastically less the the number of people that have not gotten a diagnosis of the condition. Statistics in England suggest that diagnosis of autism has increased 240% in the last 10 years and this is said to be similar in Ireland. However, there are a number of organisations in Ireland that can assist people with autism or their families:

AsIAm – Ireland’s National Autistic Charity

Few organisations have done more in recent years to reduce stereotypes and increase the publics education of people with autism and than ASIAM. The National Autism Charity, ASIAM offers teacher training, employer training, accreditation, workplace audits and supports for employers to offer a more suitable work environment for neurodiverse individuals in the workplace.

Aspire Ireland/Aspire Productions

Aspire Ireland “envisions a world where people with Asperger’s syndrome have the same opportunities to work, socialise and participate as everyone else”. In 2018, Aspire Ireland launched Aspire Productions, a full-service creative agency that only employs people with the condition. According to their website; “Our vision is to make the media industry an autism-friendly field and our mission is to enable people with Asperger’s syndrome to achieve their dreams by creating kickass media.”

Assocations of the different conditions

People with Autism are often referred to as the autistic spectrum. There are many different conditions on the autistic spectrum. Dyspraxia, OCD, ADHD etc. All of these specific conditions have different associations, which do a huge amount in lobbying the government, providing advice or information to those with the conditions or their parents.

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland   

This organisation assist in the training of dogs that can assist people with autism and their sensory issues. They have two main focuses: “ train and place highly skilled autism assistance dogs.” These are service dogs, that would be similar to Guide Dogs for the visually impaired. Their second focus is to provide companion dogs which according to their website “Companion dogs can be a welcome friend to someone who struggles to form relationships with their peers and can help reduce anxiety for children and adults with autism.” In addition to creating more awareness of autism in general.

Avail Support

Lisa Marie Clinton set up Avail Support in 2014 having previously had ten years’ experience working with people with autism. Lisa Marie could see that “there was a glaring lack of opportunities for children who were transitioning into adulthood and were being effectively ‘aged out’ of new opportunities, especially in the area of technology”. Having created the learning system, people with autism “now have access to a personal centred support that is transforming the lives of individuals with disabilities.”

Cubbie

After David and Diane McIntyre’s daughter was diagnosed with Autism in 2015, they launched Cubbie in 2019. Cubbie was created by Occupational Therapists to “create unique sensory portraits, delivered to the individual through our easy use and intuitive sensory management software system”. The products have now been used in hundreds of schools, third level, offices and venues such as Aviva Stadium.

Gheel Autism Services

In operation since 1971 Gheel according to their website “Gheel champions and supports autistic people in the greater Dublin and North Kildare region. We provide day, residential, supported living and outreach services, with the goal of maximising independence and enhancing quality of life. All of our programmes are tailored to recognise the neurodiversity model, and co-operation with autistic people is a must!”

Job Coaching Services

This article will mention job coaching services that are specific to people with autism, this article goes into detail about job coaching or employment services for people with disabilities in general that people with autism can also avail of

Kocoono

Emer Flannery’s child was diagnosed with autism in 2011. It took 7 years of product development and testing but in 2019 she launched the weighted blanket on kickstarter and got 4 times the funding goal needed. The blanket is proven to reduce stress and sleep anxiety, the weights in the blanket are adjustable, it has a cooling device embedded so it is suitable for all year round. Environmentally friendly and ethically produced the patent pending design is suitable for children and adults alike.

Not So Different

Not So Different is designed to bridge the gap between third-level and employment for graduates. As part of their ability programme, they bring people aged between 15-29 together in their creative hub in Blanchardstown. They then give support to individuals who are interested in creative industries. Together participants collaborate on projects before showcasing these projects to industry professionals.

Prepare Me

The brainchild of Caitrona Watters-Crehan Prepare Me provides resources for children with autism so that a parent or carer can explain to the child exactly what will happen in a given scenario. Such as going to the dentist for the first time or getting on an airplane for the first time. The social enterprise is has won several awards from the likes of  Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

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In addition to other services CEO Conor Quigley and his 8 person team, offer assistive technology and Multi-sensory rooms are according their their website “environments for controlling sensory stimulation aiming at helping its users in a therapeutic way by providing multiple benefits such as: boosting intellectual activity, promoting interaction and communication or giving relaxation. They are ideal for therapy, learning, stimulation, relaxation and fun. At Safe Care Technologies, we provide Multi-Sensory solutions to suit every individual’s needs. We truly believe in inclusivity and are passionate about enabling people of all abilities to engage, participate and live a better life through the products we offer.”

Sensational Kids

According to it’s website Karen Leigh became frustrated with the lengthy waiting lists her family faced in Ireland, not to mention the €120 an hour fees they had to pay for private occupational therapy. Determined to make a difference, she set out to create an affordable and accessible service that families like hers could benefit from.

The Sensory Pod

Created by Robert Byrne after his son was diagnosed with autism, Bobby first created a sensory room in his house. After posting it on social media, and seeing its popularity amongst parents of those with autism, Robert decided to create his own company and sell the Pods, his former employers Murray Medical investing in the company right at the start. The company now has a plan to get sensory pods into every school in Ireland and have a hugely successful  export market selling to a number of countries in the Middle East such as Daubi and Saudi Arabia.

Sensorylearningsupplies.com

We are an Irish online store that provides resources and toys for children of all abilities. Their products include lamps, gym balls, board games, weighted blankets and lego to name a few.

Specialisterne Ireland

Peter Barbazon set up the Irish chapter of the global company to support people with autism to gain and maintain employment. “Specialisterne Ireland has developed hiring and management practices that facilitate the employment of our candidates by removing the barriers to once inaccessible industries and careers.” Since then, Specialisterne has worked with over 30 companies to provide employment to hundreds of people living with Autism.

Thinking Toys

Created by 2 parents, Thinking Toys came about due to them “It is a family business set up by myself (Aine) and Michael inspired by our eldest child Ailis (now 21), who has Sturge Weber Syndrome and who had major brain surgery when she was 2 years old. The frustration and difficulties we endured in trying to source suitable products that would assist in her development was a catalyst in deciding to try and reduce this frustration for other parents in similar situations.” They now have over 3,500 toys available on their website with many suitable for children with autism

Totalsensory.ie

According to their website “Total Sensory Solutions Ltd are a new vibrant family run sensory company. We offer a friendly personal service from start to finish. We are here to help, by offering ideas and inspirations that are new and fresh, in the design and installation of Multi- Sensory rooms, Para  education rooms, safe rooms and multi activity active areas.

We have a wide range of beneficial products which includes bubble tubes, interactive projectors, fibre optic lighting, sensory wall panels, sensory bean bags, ball pools and an extensive range of soft play products to choose from. We also manufacture custom made wall and floor safety panels for quite de-escalation rooms to ensure complete child safety when needed.”

Walk

According to their website: “At WALK, we believe that everyone who wants to work, has a job and a career can do so. Our role is to facilitate individuals to their employment and career aspirations by supporting them to realise their potential, access opportunities and build their own natural supports.”

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