Families and friends gather to mark World Autism Day

Knockanrawley Centre

Families and friends gather to mark World Autism Day
Caitriona Kennyckenny020@hotmail.com@thenationalist

The Tipperary Town Autism Support group celebrated World Autism Day at the Knockanrawley Resource Centre on April 2nd with a gathering of families and friends to mark the occasion.

The group distributed autism awareness cards and came together to release blue balloons in a party atmosphere enjoyed by the adults and children.

Sharon Sheahan, Chairperson of the Tipperary Town Autism Awareness group was one of the parents attending the event at Knockanrawley. “I was looking forward to celebrating World Autism Day with my special little man Darragh with his favourite things… yummy cake and music. It is events like this that help to spread awareness so there is better understanding and acceptance of our beautiful children who face so many difficult challenges every day.”

The Tipperary Town Autism Awareness group started in 2012 with the support of Helen Buckley, Family & Community worker in Knockanrawley Resource Centre (KRC). The centre holds support meetings for parents in two formats to suit everybody and meet about once a month at Knockanrawley and at the Carvery Restaurant in Dunnes stores shopping centre. The group arranges activities for the children that include pony-riding classes and they work closely with local schools and organizations to educate and raise awareness of autism.

Staff in Scoil Aonghusa, who has trained in the Halliwick method of swimming, worked with parents and children in the group for ten sessions last year and in conjunction with the Excel Arts Centre they now have sensory friendly screenings when a new children’s film is released.

“We also attended a training course in basic ABA, Applied Behavioural Analysis, that is a method of teaching children with autism and we worked closely with Anne Bradshaw HSE and the Gold Star project to publish autism awareness cards that were distributed to businesses and restaurants/coffee shops in the Tipperary town area in 2015,” added Sharon Sheahan. If you want to find out more information about the Tipperary Town Autism Awareness group please contact Sharon on 086 3617501 or Triona on 086 3500139.