tipperary News

Anne Bradshaw (HSE), Actress Fiona Pilkinton, Jane Cagney-Coppens, Roisin O'Neil, Louise O'Neill and Donal O'Halloran at the Tipperary Town Gold Star, HSE and Autism Support group launch of new Autism Awareness cards in the Excel, Tipperary Town
The Tipperary Town Autism Support Group and the HSE Tipperary Gold Star Project were delighted to welcome RTE’s Fair City’s actress Rachel Pilkington on Friday to launch their recently developed Autism Awareness Cards.

The Tipperary Town Autism Support Group and the HSE Tipperary Gold Star Project were delighted to welcome RTE’s Fair City’s actress Rachel Pilkington on Friday to launch their recently developed Autism Awareness Cards.

“I’m delighted to be able to help promote positive awareness of autism. The cards have helped me to become more aware of autism and how it can affect people and I can only imagine what it would be like to live with a child with autism every day and how important it would be to ensure that your child can participate in the community at the very same level as everyone else. Two of my acting colleagues have children with autism, Keith Duffy, who is an amazing ambassador for autism, and Sarah Flood, who played Suzanne Halpin for over 20 years in Fair City.”

The Tipperary Town Autism Support was set up by parents of children with autism in Tipperary Town to help support each other as families with children with autism. The group, working together with the HSEs Gold Star Initiative, developed the cards with an aim of raising autism awareness.

Triona Esmonde, a parent of a little boy with autism, said she was very excited about the autism cards and was looking forward to seeing the town saturated with them, in every café, restaurant and business over the coming weeks.

“I hope they will help people to learn small things that will help them to communicate better and understand people with autism.”

One of the main issues for parents is when other people might see a child with autism having a meltdown in a public place and jumping to the conclusion it is just the child being bold and badly misbehaving. This is a coping reaction for the child where they have had a sensory over load. Some children may find loud noises or strong or flashing lights too much to handle and need to stop it in their heads.