Irish Autism Action, support, information and advice
It's taken roughly 3 years of documenting, a refusal, an appeal and an oral hearing but we finally got approved for the DCA. I cannot thank you enough for the guidance and encouragement. D.
I really just wanted to thank you so much for all your help, you truly have been a massive support and it means a lot. Your advice was spot on and you have been a tremendous help. I have been able to speak to people who are on my wavelength...which in turn has been a great help to both myself and my daughter. I got a wonderful phone call earlier and was told the review of our DCA refusal has been at last allowed!!! Without your advice I'd still be fighting by myself and wondering if maybe we didn't qualify for DCA, thank you so much!!! Words simply can't express....Una.
I'm a Mother. I have no experience working with school policy's, governing bodies and government departments. Some problems that I have had to deal with are just out of a mothers skill set and that's what the outreach team have been to me: the gap in my skills and the rock behind me. Vicky.
I find your website very useful, it is very informative and it does things in a very emphathic way, thank you. T.
'phones gave a momentum to my contact with IAA Facebook group & for me it was the essence of what a support group should be - a source of (endless) practical advice without any invasion of privacy. The energy, enthusiasm and practical help given by
Jennifer and IAA has been a great help.
In January 2009 we had enough and we went privately to Solas. It was one of the worst and best days of our lives. Nobody wants to hear that their child has Autism, but it was the greatest relief of all that someone listened to us. In March 2009 the special education needs officer (seno) contacted us and told us that they had a placement in an ASD pre-school. Myself and my husband were so happy and thought that this would bring Josh on. Josh was doing well until the summer break but when he returned that September my husband and I were called to the school and told by the teacher that Josh had possibly the worst case of Autism that she has ever seen and that the school were not willing to keep him. We were absolutely heart-broken and very confused.. "where do we go from here?"
Josh was then assessed by a child psychologist that October and in November we were called back to view the findings. We were told that Josh was Autistic (which we already knew) and he also had a mild to moderate intellectual disability. We were advised that the only option was to put him in a school for the intellectually disabled where he remains today. Some people may think that we are lucky to have a school placement for our child but where Josh goes to school they don't treat his autism.
In May of this year things took a turn for the worst, Josh was screaming, banging his head and attacking myself, my husband and his siblings. He even tried to attack me with a screw driver. We had no choice but to bring him to A&E where we were told that Josh was having a psychotic episode because his autism was left untreated and he didn't know how to communicate appropriately. I contacted the Sunday world because I felt that Josh’s story and the story of other kids like him needed to be told so that their voices could be heard. I also wrote to certain government officials and surprise surprise I never heard anything back.
The one good thing that came out of all this mess was IAA. Shortly after the story appeared, Kevin Whelan contacted us and said that he felt saddened at Josh’s plight and offered to do everything in his power to help our little man. IAA have been our saviour. They have a phenomenal team. Kevin has been like a guardian angel and we can't praise Shannon highly enough. We have never met a more dedicated and determined woman in our lives. She is like our right arm. We will be forever in their debt.
Today Josh is much improved with the help of IAA. He is getting the ABA treatment that he so desperately needed and is responding really well. He is on PECS phase two now, which means that his communication skills are improving and this in turn means less outbursts. We also hope to start toilet training soon. Josh still has his bad days but we have learned to manage his behaviour through the advice of the IAA team, and it makes life much easier knowing that they are at the end of the phone whenever we need them.
IAA have given our son a life-line, but more importantly they have given our family hope for the future.”
Parents of an autistic child
1 - childs name changed
Hi, my name is Lisa Naughton and I am the mother of a nine year child with Aspergers Syndrome. I would like to thank all those who sponsor and give generously to Irish Autism Action as well as all the staff , especially Kevin Whelan and Dr. Jennifer O`Connor.
My son was expelled from school because of his disability, 22 schools and three counties later we could still not secure him a place in a main stream school and no special needs school would accept him because he is too high functioning. I went to all the proper authorities, spoke to what I thought was all the right people but no one was prepared to help let alone do anything. After all he was just one child, one child that had needs and that was going to cost the state money so better to ignore his rights.
Casey spent a total of almost 9 months out of school, my family fell apart, I lost my job and almost lost my home. That was until I received a miracle in the way of an angel called Kevin Whelan and his team from the IAA. They did what no one else would do, they listened and acted. They offered support, educational and emotional, gave advice and attended various appeals against the schools who were refusing my son an education. Thanks to those angels and those who donate to them my son is now in full time education in a main stream school and doing wonderfully. He went from a child who was man handled , restrained and locked into rooms in his previous school , to a child who receives praise, attention and just about a gold star every day for his school work. This is all because the IAA took action. They secured one on one tuition for him in the school allowing him to receive ABA in the main stream setting, (thanks to Mavae O`Toole and Paula Hynes) for six months, as well as guidance and support from Dr Jennifer O`Connor. So I would just like to say to all who support and give generously, thank you for saving my child , thank you for allowing him to have a chance in life, thank you for giving him and us a future. To Kevin and the rest of the staff at the IAA, we love you guys, you are our angels.
ID Card Testimonials
I would just like to thank you so much for the ID card it was absolutely fantastic to receive. When we arrived in Dublin airport we just showed the card and were allowed walk through which was great as I could see there were approx 200 people ahead of us. It was my son’s first time on a plane and he loved it, but was scared when it started to go “super fast” and then he went asleep. We arrived in Charles de Gaulle and again showed the card and we were allowed go straight through. Disney was amazing when we got to the hotel we showed the card it was 10:30am we had been up since 4am and our room would not be available until 3pm. They organised for another room and we were checked in by 10:30am. They advised us were to go in Disney village “City Hall” and my son was presented with a card which allowed him access to all rides, plus his parents and sister. All we needed to do was go to the exit of each ride and we were allowed skip the queue.
Obviously noise and spinning is a large element of Disney and most of the rides my son was happy to watch and take photos, but small world was one ride, where you are on a boat and lovely soft music and its basically representatives of each country magical as you can imagine we had a few turns of that one. This was a huge trip in so many ways for us, my son’s first plane etc it all went without any hitches and we will certainly be doing more often. Thank you so
much for all your help.
My son will be starting in St Michael’s House school in Kilbarrack in September. I am very happy about it but afraid to get too excited!! I have just finished his passport (a booklet all about him). His family, his likes and dislikes! I will give it to everyone who will be in contact with him. I think this will help. I am going tomorrow to bring him for his final visit before he starts. He is very apprehensive, he knows it different but I’m not sure if he understands yet that it will be his new school. Thank you so much for all your help I don’t know what I would have done without you and IAA. Your staff were sent from heaven to me, they were brilliant! I also really appreciate the expense that was covered for us and when I am in a better position financially I will make a substantial donation. Again thank you so much for everything. I will let you know how Evan gets on, fingers crossed all will go well.
Source: A Happier Mother of an Autistic Child
To apply for an ID card download the application form fromhttp://www.autismireland.ie/assets/files/downloads/Autism-ID-Card-Application.pdf
We used the ID card in Alton Towers and we were treated like royalty it was great, no queuing, brilliant. Keep up the good work
Source: Family of a child with Autism
We went over to Thomasland in Birmingham in June, and used our ID Card for our son Sean. At the customer service desk, they issued Sean and the family with wristbands. All staff within Drayton Manor, were fantastic and they ensured we got on all the rides as quickly as possible, to avoid any queues etc. We would definitely go back there, as all the staff were very efficient and friendly.
Source: Mum of child with Autism
My son is autistic and a member of your society. Since I have received his membership card, he is getting more help and understanding in the community, and I have laminated his card for the car and he carries a laminated card, as I have the original card. He is now attending a special school and is getting great help and the teachers go at his pace, and not secondary pace. Thank you for all your help.
Source: Parent of child with Autism
Hi all. Were back!! had a fantastic time in Disney. Out of this world. Kids had a ball. Only 2 major meltdowns which was quite good. Those IAA cards are a godsend. We are already planning our next trip.
Source: Parent of child with Autism
I just wanted to send you this short letter to say a big “Thank You” to IAA. I recently got the IAA ID Card for my son. I had read the article in your newsletter about one of your members who every year goes to Disney Land Paris – because he enjoys it so much. We traveled to Disney in February and after showing the ID card we were issued with a special pass which meant we did not have to queue for attractions. Instead of feeling isolated because we had a son with special needs we were made to feel like royalty – and had a brilliant holiday! Thank you so much – Keep up the hard work.
Source: Parent of child with Autism
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