The United Nations declared April 2nd every year as World Autism Awareness Day. The declaration expressed deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of Autism in Children in all regions of the world and the consequential developmental challenges. It called on all countries, UN bodies, international organisations, and non governmental groups to take steps to raise awareness of Autism.
Awareness initiatives took place across the globe and The Irish Society for Autism also marked this very special ocasion.
United Nations – New York
Pat Matthews, Executive Director of the Irish Society for Autism, was invited to the United Nations in New York to speak on ‘Autism and Human Rights: Understanding and Safeguarding the Rights of People with Autism in observance of World Autism Awareness Day. He stressed that what we need now are Autism awareness programmes, critical legislation which protects and promotes the rights of people living with Autism and research to identify the causes. He also spoke on his personal experience of Autism with his own son.
Maria-Luisa Chavez, Chief NGO Relations, United Nationes Headquarters thanked Mr. Matthews for his contribution and for being an important part of the briefing ‘it demonstrated to us that autism has been around longer than we have realised.’
On World Autism Day, The Irish Society for Autism released blue balloons outside Dail Eireann and also in our flagship services in Dunfirth Farm, supported by Senator Ivor Callelly and TD’s from all parties in Dail Eireann.
The aim of the launch was to create awareness of Autism and the complex needs of childern and adults with Autism. We would like to thank all the TD’s and Senators who supported us on the day.
Dunfirth Farm Celebrated the day by releasing balloons and having a barbeque in fantastic weather. Friends from the area also helped celebrate the day!
Dr. Temple Grandin
On Saturday 28th March, the Irish Society for Autism was host to Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned person with Autism who as made a very successful career in livestock handling and facility design. She spoke about her own experiences with Autism from early childhood to a successful career. She was introduced by Prof. Michael Fitzgerald, a prominent professional in the field of Autism.
The seminar was a resounding success and approximatley 350 participants were lucky enough to secure a seat to hear the international speaker and they also had the opportunity to ask questions.
The feedback from the seminar was tremendous and there were lots of requests for a return visit from Dr. Temple Grandin.