Bridging the Gap

HSE announces Autism Spectrum Disorder Review

The Health Service Executive ( HSE) has established a cross divisional working group to undertake a review of the level of supports and services to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The working group will consider the operational effectiveness of existing health services responses in addressing the particular needs of those with ASD.  It will also seek to identify models of good practice.  The working group will report on its findings by the end of September 2017.   Future provision of services for children and adults with ASD must be in line with the Government’s commitment to mainstreaming, where people with a disability have access to the same services as the general population, and in addition receive the appropriate support and intervention to address individual needs.  This integrated approach to meeting the health needs of people with disabilities is designed to ensure generic health are addressed by primary care teams and that only these with specific needs, where specialist knowledge, skill or expertise is required, are referred to specialist services.   The HSE is inviting service users, parents, staff and advocacy groups to contribute to the review through written submissions and focus groups.  Submissions should be in respect of their experience relating to: Effectiveness of existing services Models of good practice   Submissions should be between 500 and 1000 words and emailed to orla.cooney1@hse.ie by the 12th of September 2017. Submissions will be acknowledged by the working group. However, the group will not enter into correspondence in respect of individual submissions. The working group has been asked to report by the end of September 2017.   Tony Canavan, Chief Officer and Chair of the working group says, “Geographically, we know that current services can vary from robust, comprehensive and integrative to […]

Travelling with Autism / Special Needs

If you are travelling this summer on holidays and have a family member on the autism spectrum or with special needs , you will probably be aware you need more preparation that most so your family member has a less stressful experience of travelling . Some preparation can may the experience less stressful . Some basic tips below ; *Check with your airline and or travel company what accommodations they can make . Most will have a medical needs section. It is a good idea to contact their customer care team at the time of booking to make them aware of any concerns/ needs you have. *If you are travelling with a child with special needs , having a small backpack for your child that they carry with items needed to keep them occupied .Letting them carry their own backpack can help if you have a runner, the weight can have a calming effect. *If your family member with special needs will tolerate it, for him or her to wear an id bracelet with the ICE symbol on it with contact details . *Have ear defenders at the ready if you have a noise sensitive relative or headphones so they can play music or watch a dvd/ programme if they can an iPad/ Phone and sunglasses – alot of public buildings use florescent lights . *If you are using a buggy/ stroller you usually can bring this with to the departure gate- it is worth buying or borrowing a buggy bag reduces the risk of your buggy getting accidentally damaged. Also when you check in asking for your buggy to be available as your disembark the aircraft. *When you check in at airport remind or […]

Back to School

It’s only around the corner, back to school time.              Or for some children and families it’s the start of primary school, secondary school or a new school. Families are busy organising their children with books, uniforms etc. For families who have a child on the autism spectrum its takes a lot more preparation ,so have a few tips below from one of our parents.                                  Creating a social story about your child’s school There are a lot of apps and programs to create a social story or just use a Word based program or get your child involved by creating a template and getting them to stick in the pictures https://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/02/11/12-computer-programs-websites-and-apps-for-making-social-stories/ If you can get a photo of your child’s teacher and or Special needs assistant if he / she will have one Picture of the school both inside and out Don’t forget to include the school bus if your child is going to be using the Free School Transport scheme for children with special needs, who will be on the bus etc. If you aren’t aware of the school transport scheme contact your school for details, terms and conditions do apply. If you have an older child at second level and if they have and can operated a smart phone may be worth creating a map of their classes in school . Communication is key If possible check with your school if you can meet the Teacher before school starts Create a list of what your child’ triggers are, what creates anxiety for them. What works to help calm them down? While your teacher will get to know your child over time, having this information to hand for your child’s teacher and or special […]