Irish Autism Action are committed to being part of a solution to make things better for the autism community at large. Our Help and support line continues to receive calls on a diverse range of issues, and plays a valuable role in guiding and supporting the people who call us for help. To give you some idea of that support, please read some of the testimonials we have received in the past 9 months:
Thanks so much to Irish autism action for their incredible support without the amazing support from Irish autism action we would not have know where to go. With the arrive of the expulsion of our son from school at the age of 5 brought on severe stress within the family and not to mention our son’s health which brought on a lot of seizures as well . Niall Murphy was understanding, supportive and had both the family and our son’s best interest at heart Within 24 hours the amount of information given to us was incredible brought on by the support from Niall and Autism Ireland .It is comforting to know that there are people out there that are willing to understand autism and see it through our kids eyes. Our family owes a huge credit of honour to Autism Ireland
My husband and I were blessed with three beautiful and very special children, both of our sons have a diagnosis of autism and as a solid family unit, together we faced many challenges in our journey through life. When our sons were diagnosed, we thought that autism would be our greatest barrier to living a full and inclusive life in a society in which we desperately wanted them to be a part of. As time went by, we learned to not only accept autism as part of who we are but we also learned to embrace it as our sons would teach us far more than we could ever teach them, they made us better people .We strongly believed that our sons were not here to fit into ” the box “, they were here to show us that there is no box and we challenged many systems in our journey in order to find our way through a system that constantly seemed to work against us. In October 2014, my husband and father of our children passed away suddenly in our home, he was just fifty years old. Amidst the devastation of losing a devoted , loving father and husband, I found myself battling alone against a system that offered no support to my family in crisis. We desperately needed support to survive and to stay together, we were to each other all we had left in the world and in our darkest days the system choose to fight us rather than to support us. I contacted Irish Autism Action , I told them our story and asked for help to challenge those who were challenging us and our right to remain together as a family. Autism Ireland, through their advocacy services , listened to me, understood our challenges and supported us through our most difficult. It was and continues to be a light of hope within a dark and unforgiving system, allowing us the understanding, compassion and support which we sesperately need in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances within a system that serves only itself. Without this support, I dread to think what may of become of my family and while I know that the road ahead of us no doubt holds many challenges , we know that with the support of our national organisation that we will never face them alone, this to us is a lifeline.
My wife I feel obliged to document our recent experience with Autism Ireland Advice. We are proud parents of 6 year old twins, both on the ASD spectrum. We were fortunate to come in contact with Mr. Niall Murphy of Autism Ireland. Autism, Special Needs, Loss, Demand, Emotional survival, Financial survival, Life changed forever! What is great is the empathy and understanding they demonstrate of our sometimes overwhelming
circumstances. They helped us survive a phenomenally stressful period in our life, they simplified scenarios and identified/suggested the courses of action/options available to us. I have had discussions outside of office hours and on weekends with Autism Ireland, when we really needed it to keep us sane and survive another crisis. We know our twins diagnosis and prognosis is a moving target, we feel we are getting stronger and may survive. We are and will always be very grateful for the help received from Autism Ireland.
I was lost. I didn’t know where to turn to with my grandchild and he got diagnosed with Autism. It was like our whole world came crashing down we didn’t know what to do. it was so hard. We contacted Autism Ireland and I have to say they were fantastic they helped us understand and come to terms with Autism. It made us better grandparents and also made my daughter a better parent. We owe everything to the staff of Autism Ireland for all the work they put in with us. If we didn’t contact them we would be none the wiser and going out of our mind’s but today we have a fantastic understanding of AUTISM and how to live with a child with Autism
We first contacted Autism Ireland over two years ago when our family was in crisis. Our then 11 year old son had a range of very challenging behaviours which had resulted in serious self injury and we were struggling to cope. Autism Ireland stepped in and offered practical support when the state agencies couldn’t. They helped us deal with our sons behaviours which were often aggressive and the staff never complained even when they were often injured themselves. They also guided and supported us through a very lengthy fight to secure a school place for our son. I can honestly say that had it not been for the practical support Autism Ireland provided our family, our son would not be living with us today. Although things continue to be difficult there are now more good days then bad. It is so good to see our child smiling again and getting involved in activities he used to enjoy. Autism Ireland involvement has helped ensure that we have been able to keep our son at home and our family together. We will always be extremely grateful to them.
I just wanted to take the time to thank you and all at Autism Ireland for all your help with max getting his iPad! You have no idea what this means for him and we are so very grateful . Keep up the great and important work , helping our kids that are challenged everyday, your support is more important than you realise . From this autism mammy, a very big thank you for all he have done!
Great support from Autism Ireland and always on hand to give advice listen to my problems. When I needed help or advice you guys are always on the other end of the phone to listen to me. Thanks for all of your support for ****and me.
Hi Niall, was speaking to you on Monday about by daughter *****. Well the meeting went well thankfully. I explained as you said, that we had taken ***** to the place they didn’t want to take her and I said that I would follow them in my own car and be there is she wasn’t coping which is where I am now sitting in my car hiding. They did apologise for the way it was dealt and lack of communication as we didn’t even get a note like the other parents regarding the tour. Only to be brought in and tell us she wouldn’t be able for it which was ridiculous. But look, I did understand their safety issues, but I think they presumed we would be happy not to let her go. Thank you so much for your advice and support – really appreciate it
*** started a new school in August and has been thriving, she was in the school play and had her 7th birthday party in March and everyone from her class came. She never talks about ***** and seems to have left it behind. The behaviours have pretty much stopped altogether and she is so happy and confident I can hardly believe it. I recently had a parent teacher meeting at the school and they have stated that not only doesn’t she need an SNA, she needs no help whatsoever and in fact helps out a lot with the younger kids. They were even of the opinion that the team should come in and observe her as they think she has no problems at all. They are fantastic and emphasise her being independent and assertive the total opposite to the dependence the other school undermined her with. I hope things are going well with you too, you’ve certainly taught us that having a child with ASD in this country is always an uphill struggle and we will be keeping an eye out for other suitable schools as *** is only in this one until the age of 9. I just wanted to say thank you again, we couldn’t have gotten through that terrible year without your help and support. Things have really turned around for us but I won’t ever foolish enough to let my guard down again. Many thanks again Niall, all the very best,
Hi Niall, We have an appointment for ******* next Friday at 2pm. We cannot afford to pay for this private assessment as my husband is not working at the moment. He had a nervous breakdown last June and attempted to take his own life. I greatly appreciate all your help with everything. You are the first person that has helped our son. Thank you so much.
Hi Niall, hope you are well. Thank you again for your very generous gift of an iPad for our residents son, the family are so grateful for the kindness and support of Autism Ireland.
Niall, Thank you for all the support, advice and help you have provided over the last 2 months. Thank you so much for attending last night’s meeting with the BOM as without your help, advise and expertise, we do not believe we would have reached any solution/conclusion last night. Apologies for keeping you there so long and away from your home and family and if there is ever any way We might be able to repay you please let us know. It was a pleasure meeting you last night and We would hope that our paths would cross again but under different circumstances. We will let you know how **** has been coping with school etc and how school hopefully will have adapted to help **** in a few weeks. Thanking You and Best Wishes
Autism Ireland card and our trip to Paris. This card very beneficial in France. ***** (ASD) and I used it for entry into Disney. For a one day ticket Carer goes free and there’s a ten euro discount on Adult/ child with special needs. You get a special card which gets you priority entry onto rides and saves a huge amount of queueing time and distress. We used it for Park Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne and both of us gained free admission. We drove to the front of the Chateau in Versailles and parked in the car park. Cost 20 euro for others but free with the card! Entry into the Grand Chateau in Versailles cost me 15 euro ( which should have been free but I had lost the card and had to get a replacement promptly). We used it for entry into the Cartier foundation art gallery. This was wonderful- a totally visual experience with music. The exhibition running at the moment is called “The Great Animal Orchestra” and is the perfect art gallery experience for an adult/child with ASD. It’s running until January 8th 2017- well worth a visit. There was no charge for Carer or SN adult/ Child. The saving was significant. The Eiffel Tower only cost 4 euro to the second level with carer goes free. We were also provided with priority entry here! Normal price would have been 11euro for an adult. (Note: in France all young people including tourists under 26 get concessions/free to public monuments and museums with passport ID). We also used it in a the catacombs in Paris. We were allowed to the top of the queue and we were given 2 free tickets. We used the card in St. Mere Eglise, Normandy, to visit the museum. We paid 6 euro entry in total. The normal price was 8 euro per adult and students and under 26’s had to pay also. My message is don’t be without this card. If you don’t have it there is little else that is acceptable. The French look for a card to prove you have Special needs. I am also very grateful to Niall in autism Ireland for getting the card to us on time before our holiday despite our late application and also promptly replacing the lost card.
Hi Neil, just want to thank you and to let you know I was very pleased and happy with the service that you provide at Irish autism action. My nephew ***** is doing very well at the moment. I do believe the advice we received from you was a great help. You showed great interest in ***** and I was very happy when you rang me a while ago to see how he was doing. thanks a million for all your advice and help. We will talk to u soon
Hi Niall, Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to talk through this. It was very reassuring and helpful and I feel much lighter as a result, understanding something is half the battle. I took tonnes of notes so we’ll start practicing this week. Wishing you a nice evening.
I contacted Autism Ireland in mid-2016 when we were experiencing crisis levels of anxiety and harming behaviour with our son (aged 5). Every day was a struggle. From waking at 5.30 am to the fight with school uniform to issues of flight and escape from the school the areas of challenge were far reaching and across the board. Two childminders left, unable to cope with his aggressive behaviour and we had serious concerns regarding the safety of our other children. We reached out to Autism Ireland, having been recommended from another Autism parent.
During our time working with Autism Ireland our son has been reviewed, we have been given practical interventions, specific to our child to help him cope with his emotions and aggressive behaviour. We have received invaluable support from their BCBA Shannon Eidman in finding solutions which work for our family. As a parent having someone who realised our child is not naughty or acting out without cause helped. Discovering that all behaviour (good and bad) is all a method of communicating his needs means I am better able to relate to my son. Once we could identify what our child wanted and needed we could adjust to find compromise and balance to help him regulate his emotions with Shannon’s help.
As a parent who has been failed by the HSE with regard to assistance for our child, Autism Ireland have helped us through a very difficult time in our family journey and we shall always be grateful.
We cannot continue to provide this level of support to families without your help. The above range of testimonials, provide some examples of how we have impacted positively to families. We are all about – Understanding Autism, transforming lives.We hope that you will support Point 1 of our #FivePointVisionPlan and help us to help more families. There are 45,000 families living with autism in Ireland.