Home > Community Voices > School and Autism – My Experience: Lauren Martin

School and Autism – My Experience: Lauren Martin

August; and it seems as if I have only grown accustomed to the structure deficient summer days. The new academic year approaches too quickly, and nothing but my anxiety can keep up. I am entering sixth year, my final year of second level education, for the second time. For the past fifteen years, this system has repeatedly broken me down. This happened simply because I did not fit into its regimented box. But with 86% of autistic students attending mainstream schools, I fear that I am one of many.

Primary school environments such as these are often overstimulating for autistic students
Early years

I do not remember much about primary school other than the headaches. Every day I would return home overwhelmed with fatigue and an excruciating pain in my head. My mother and I often spent our evenings in the doctor’s office. I received countless blood tests that never detected anything but the epitome of health. It was only at 15, when I got an Asperger’s diagnosis, that I could understand what I was experiencing; sensory overload.

The high intensity lights, shuffling of chairs, walls busied with posters. There was so much to process that I couldn’t process anything at all. In retrospect, it becomes clear how unfriendly this classroom environment was to autism and the pain a few simple accommodations and some respite could have spared me. However, like many young girls on the spectrum, I was acutely quiet and my meltdowns manifested internally. There is little done to support you when your only diagnosis at the time is ‘shyness.’

Otherwise, primary school went by placidly. It was predictable and safe. Work was manageable and while I spoke little, I eventually made two good friends. I was content, and even looking forward to beginning secondary school. Although I was yet to have a diagnosis, my parents were aware that I struggled socially and we found a small, academic girls school which we believed would best suit my personality.

Challenges

My new school offered a series of induction days for incoming first years to spend the afternoon meeting with teachers, sampling classes and familiarising ourselves with the building. This was immensely beneficial and made my first week considerably less intimidating. Still, the next Monday morning, I refused to go in. Monday turned to Tuesday, days turned into weeks and before I knew it, I had made it to mid-term break without a single week of full attendance. Every morning was the same; I awoke with a ball of anxiety in my stomach that accumulated until it was time to leave and I had lost all rational. My parents describe how I would cry, and scream, and kick, and repeatedly hit my hands against my head until long after the school bus was gone and it was too late for me to go in anyway.

I could never give a coherent explanation for my actions as there was nothing typically wrong. Everyone was kind to me and I had no great trouble with my subjects. All I knew was that this was change, and it was too overwhelming to cope with.

 

I saw counsellors for anxiety but my school refusal persisted, even worsening into Second Year. My absence and diffidence led me to feel increasingly isolated and marginalised. I gave my best effort in class, though often in vain. Being hypersensitive to noise, I found it impossible to concentrate in anything less than utter silence. I usually emerged from classes not having started the work that everyone else had finished. The variety of subjects proved a challenge too; having to instantly switch from maths class to English class was simply information overload and exhausted me.

The varied and abundant study material of state examinations rarely takes neurodivergent needs into account

I was essentially retaining nothing from my lessons and as a conscientious student, this was extremely distressing. Soon I compensated by spending my lunch breaks studying upstairs, avoiding the busy cafeteria. I stopped eating my lunch but I was so anxious that my hunger did not phase me. As this continued, I rapidly lost weight and was pulled out of school and placed into an adolescent mental health unit. There, I received treatment for an eating disorder. I gained the weight I had lost back with ease. This prompted the doctors to question whether there was a deeper root to the problem. They sent for an assessment and the specialist diagnosed me with Aspergers.

Post diagnosis

Receiving my diagnosis helped greatly. Not only did it give myself and my parents perspective and understanding, it gave me the piece of paper I needed to qualify for the accommodations I should received all along. I received resource hours for desensitisation, started with a fantastic occupational therapist and worked in close alignment with my school, who were incredibly supportive and facilitating. But what could be done was limited; it was the education system that I did not suit and that was never more obviously to me than when I started Fifth Year. Although I refrain from generalising, it is prevalent for autistic people to take things very literally: we fear the uncertain or unknown.

Now, consider the Leaving Cert; how for six years they emphasise it decides your future (it doesn’t) and how ultimately, it all comes down to chance. A system of diverse subjects and broad curriculum is discordant with the nature of the often detail-focused and specialised autistic mind. The concept of entering an exam without the certainty of preparing for every possible question ever is equally inconceivable. To make things more manageable, I attended Fifth Year on a restricted timetable.

Wednesday was a designated rest day for me to stay at home and rejuvenate. However, I began to misuse it as a chance to overcompensate for what I was too busy to learn in school while processing my sensorial surroundings. I viewed my time at home as my only opportunity to actually learn, and in some ways, the Leaving Cert became like a special interest for me. I was obsessive; my life fixated around it and studying too much was the only thing that seemed to put me at ease. This mentality continued into the summer holidays and so did the relentless work. Everything else, including my health, became secondary.

Image result for stress teenager
Stress can quickly have physical consequences for autistic young people like Lauren
Leaving Cert Stress

My weight deteriorated once again and in early August, my parents admitted me to general hospital. I remained there for over a month. I did not return to school until the following February. By then my ambitions of sitting the exams were nothing but a mere fantasy. The day the Leaving Cert began, I sat at home and I cried. I cried because I am tired of fighting just to stay in a system that exists to contradict my very being and how my mind works.  I cried because I am not the only one whose basic right to education has had to be such a miserable struggle.

While the majority of schools are excellent and inclusive when approached on a personal basis, the problem derives is broader. The state level education system operates much like a conveyor belt to prepare students for college and the workforce, but lacks empathy, pays little attention to the individual, and underestimates the destruction this can cause.

 

This is one individual’s opinion and experience. It does not necessarily reflect AsIAm’s views and positions as an organisation. If you’d like to blog for AsIAm.ie, get in touch by emailing blogs@asiam.ie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

by - 28 August, 2019

Last updated by - August 29, 2019

in Community Voices, Featured News, Reduced Timetables, Special Education

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Explainer: What Happened in Senator Devine’s Commencement Matter on SEN Schools Provision in the Seanad?

by - 12 April, 2019

On Thursday morning, Senator Máire Devine submitted a Commencement Matter to Seanad Éireann on th...[...]

autism ID card_AsIAm Ireland's National Autism Charity

Autism ID Card Consultation

by - 11 April, 2019

In AsIAm we aim to make society universally accessible for autistic people. This would be a socie...[...]

autism seanad eireann_AsIAm Ireland's National Autism Charity

Explainer: What Happened in Senator Ó Ríordáin’s Commencement Matter on School Places in the Seanad?

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On Tuesday afternoon, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin submitted a Commencement Matter to Seanad Éireann...[...]

So You Want to Celebrate World Autism Month

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our week online_asiam ireland's national autism charity and advocacy organisation

Our Week Online – 7/4/2019

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autism_motion

Explainer: What Happens Now after the Dáil’s Autism Motion?

by - 4 April, 2019

On Tuesday evening, Sinn Féin used their Private Members’ time to submit a motion to establish an...[...]

Majority of Irish Support Autistic People in Jobs, Schools and the Community, but Don’t Understand Autism Well, survey finds

by - 2 April, 2019

Irish people show strong positive support for autistic people in schools, employment and society ...[...]

autism_strategy_AsIAm Ireland's National Autism Charity

What is an Autism Strategy & What’s Happening Tomorrow with Sinn Féin’s Private Member’s Motion?

by - 1 April, 2019

Autism Strategy Tomorrow evening, Sinn Féin will be submitting a Private Member's Bill to establ...[...]

our week online_asiam ireland's national autism charity and advocacy organisation

Our Week Online – 31/3/2019

by - 31 March, 2019

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Resource Pack for Primary and Secondary Schools 2019

by - 29 March, 2019

Calling all schools, teachers, and educators! April is World Autism Month, and we have developed ...[...]

autism_friendly_communities

SuperValu and AsIAm Inclusive Communities Award

by - 29 March, 2019

AsIAm and SuperValu have a strong partnership in supporting communities to become autism-friendly...[...]

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by - 20 March, 2019

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Free SuperValu Home Delivery to the Autism Community for April!

by - 20 March, 2019

AsIAm are delighted to partner with SuperValu, the first food retailer in Ireland to introduce Au...[...]

Our Week Online – 17/3/2019

by - 17 March, 2019

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Interview – Kate Heffernan and Aisling O’Gorman, Peat @ The Ark

by - 12 March, 2019

The Ark Cultural Centre for Children presents Peat, a brand new theatre show for ages 8+ by Kate ...[...]

Our Week Online – 10/3/2019

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Hello, and welcome to Our Week Online. This week we celebrated Pancake Tuesday, World Book Day, a...[...]

Advice on Education Plans ~ AsIAm Explains

by - 5 March, 2019

In December of last year, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and Teacher’s Unio...[...]

Press Release: AsIAm Advice on Education Plans

by - 5 March, 2019

In December 2018, it was brought to AsIAm’s attention that the Association of Secondary Teachers ...[...]

Our Week Online – 3/3/2019

by - 3 March, 2019

Welcome to Our Week Online - because these days, media is all about the signal boost. In the U...[...]

Help Raise Funds For AsIAm By Taking Part In The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2020

by - 26 February, 2019

Help Raise Funds For AsIAm By Taking Part In The VHI Women's Mini Marathon 2020   Date: ...[...]

Our Week Online – 24/2/2019

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Welcome to Our Week Online. Did anyone else struggle with knowing what to wear in the sudden warm...[...]

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Community Support Update and FAQs

by - 22 February, 2019

We want to give you all an update on our Community Support seminars so far! We've held five event...[...]

Interview: Dr. Linda O’Rourke and Elzaan Marnane of Core Clinical

by - 21 February, 2019

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survey_education_autism

Call Out: Complete Our Survey on Adult Autism Diagnosis

by - 21 February, 2019

In partnership with Core Clinical, we invite autistic people with a formal adult diagnosis of aut...[...]

autism and play_community support

What We Learned – Autism and Play: Promises and Possibilities

by - 21 February, 2019

On Monday evening we held our Community Support event in Co. Limerick on Autism and Play. We ...[...]

autism_friendly_town

Are You Ready to create your Autism Friendly Town?

by - 19 February, 2019

AsIAm and SuperValu were proud to partner with the community of Clonakilty in creating Ireland’s ...[...]

Our Week Online – 17/2/2019

by - 17 February, 2019

This is Our Week Online. We hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day (and an even better Galentin...[...]

Interview: Julie McCabe

by - 16 February, 2019

For those of you who watched the most recent episode of Ireland’s Got Talent last Saturday at...[...]

Noel Ward and Michael McEnery’s April Ultra-Marathon in aid of AsIAm!

by - 14 February, 2019

Autism Awareness Month is coming up soon in April, and two men are planning to give it their all ...[...]

right_to_earn_living

A Right to Earn a Living ~ AsIAm Explains

by - 12 February, 2019

Last week, Education and Skills Minister Joe McHugh TD stated that his Department would be appeal...[...]

Our Week Online – 10/2/2019

by - 10 February, 2019

This is Our Week Online. Sit down, why don't you? A quarter of the disabled population of Irel...[...]

community_support

What We Learned – Community Support: Puberty and Sexuality

by - 8 February, 2019

Last night we held our Puberty and Sexuality Community Support seminar in Co. Wicklow, and we're ...[...]

Being a True Friend by Rachael Donohoe

by - 7 February, 2019

Here at AsIAm it's important to us to champion the work of the autistic community. That's why we ...[...]

Orán Timoney – Special Award Winner at BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition!

by - 5 February, 2019

We're very proud to say that Orán Timoney, a member of our first Youth Leadership Team and now an...[...]

Our Week Online – 3/2/2019

by - 3 February, 2019

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survey_education_autism

Call Out: Complete Our Surveys on School Places and Exclusion/Withdrawal

by - 30 January, 2019

As the national autistic advocacy organisation, AsIAm receives a huge volume of messages from fam...[...]

independent_living

What We Learned – Community Support: Independent Living and Housing

by - 29 January, 2019

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Our Week Online – 27/1/2019

by - 27 January, 2019

It's 2019, and welcome to Our Week Online. How are you doing with your New Year's Resolutions? If...[...]

“It’s Not A Disorder”: Minister Joe McHugh Challenges Himself and TDs on Inclusive Language around Autism

by - 23 January, 2019

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Interview: Daniel Kennedy

by - 22 January, 2019

Art is a natural fit for many people on the autism spectrum. Whether it's done as a hobby or a fo...[...]

asiam_asti_meeting

Constructive Meeting between AsIAm & ASTI Representatives

by - 21 January, 2019

Representatives from both AsIAm and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) met last...[...]

asiam-condemns-asti-advice.jpg.

AsIAm Condemns the ‘Pick & Choose’ Approach to Meeting Students’ Needs from the ASTI & TUI

by - 19 December, 2018

Sign our petition calling for the ASTI & TUI to revise their advice here!   AsIAm, I...[...]

Our Week Online – 16/12/2018

by - 16 December, 2018

Welcome to the last Our Week Online of 2018. This will be our last round up of the year because w...[...]

Kelli Twomey: “This is ME”

by - 10 December, 2018

Kelli Twomey, a mother of an autistic child, sent us this poem from her child's perspective, and ...[...]

Our Week Online – 9/12/2018

by - 9 December, 2018

Welcome to Our Week Online. Don't know what it is about December, but the autism and disability s...[...]

We Need an Inclusive, Measurable Autism Strategy

by - 6 December, 2018

AsIAm has said the publication by the Department of Health of two reports relating to autism must...[...]

Our Week Online – 2/12/2018

by - 2 December, 2018

Welcome to Our Week Online. This is the biggest roundup so far, but it was a big week! Go and boi...[...]

National Autism Conference 2018 Speaker Presentations

by - 26 November, 2018

It's been a month since our National Autism Conference in October, and we've received wonderful f...[...]

Our Week Online – 25/11/2018

by - 25 November, 2018

Welcome to Our Week Online, a round up of autism and disability related news around the world, ar...[...]

Kevin Hanly: Living With Autism at Christmas Time

by - 23 November, 2018

The end of November is near, and while there's still a few weeks left until Christmas, preparing ...[...]

Interview: Elaine Harris

by - 19 November, 2018

Elaine Harris is a yoga teacher who founded The Yoga Shed in Co. Wicklow in 2014, which serves to...[...]

Our Week Online – 18/11/2018

by - 18 November, 2018

Welcome to Our Week Online, probably the only news roundup this week that doesn't include Brexit....[...]

Our Week Online – 11/11/2018

by - 11 November, 2018

It's Sunday, winter has definitely arrived, and there's only six weeks to Christmas! Welcome to O...[...]

Community Support – Autism in the Home, University College Cork, Cork

by - 6 November, 2018

AsIAm is hosting twenty four Community Support Seminar talks around the country over the next twe...[...]

Community Support – Autism and the Law, RCSI, Dublin

by - 6 November, 2018

AsIAm is hosting twenty four Community Support Seminar talks around the country over the next twe...[...]

Our Week Online – 4/11/2018

by - 4 November, 2018

It's Sunday, and welcome to Our Week Online. Here's the internet's tricks and treats from the pas...[...]

Interview: Nicholas Ryan-Purcell

by - 2 November, 2018

Nicholas Ryan-Purcell is an autistic filmmaker from Co. Tipperary. His latest film is called This...[...]

Our Week Online – 28/10/2018

by - 28 October, 2018

It's Sunday, Halloween is almost here, Ireland is (hopefully) done with voting for the year, and ...[...]

Call Out: NCSE Consultations on Special Schools and Classes

by - 24 October, 2018

Our survey on special schools and classes is now live and open to the public! If you're a school ...[...]

Autism Friendly Santa School

by - 24 October, 2018

*Due to the huge amount of inquiries we have had about our Autism Friendly Santa Training, we...[...]

autism_community_support

Community Support Survey 2018

by - 23 October, 2018

We at AsIAm invite the autism community in Ireland to take part in our new Community Support Surv...[...]

Research Opportunity: Building Inclusive Healthcare for People with Autism, NUI Galway

by - 23 October, 2018

AsIAm.ie is delighted to share this research opportunity with our users. If you are interested in...[...]

Our Week Online – 21/10/2018

by - 21 October, 2018

It's Sunday, and welcome to Our Week Online. The AsIAm team are having a well-deserved rest after...[...]

Laragh Smith: My Experience of an Inclusive Community

by - 19 October, 2018

The theme of this year's National Autism Conference is "Building Inclusive Communities". Laragh, ...[...]

Update: National Autism Conference 2018

by - 18 October, 2018

AsIAm National Autism Conference is just two days away! Our team are putting the final details to...[...]

Meet Our New Community Support Officer!

by - 17 October, 2018

Last month, we introduced you to our new Information Officer, Eleanor Walsh. Today, we would like...[...]

National Autism Conference 2018 – Autism Welcoming Venue and Experience

by - 16 October, 2018

National Autism Conference is less than a week away, in the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Dublin, this S...[...]

Clonakilty an Autism Friendly Town: A First For Ireland

by - 16 October, 2018

SuperValu and AsIAm partner with the entire community of Clonakilty to secure fu...[...]

Our Week Online – 14/10/2018

by - 14 October, 2018

Here's a new series on the website where we round up some of the best writing on autism, disabili...[...]

Stephen Shore Visits AsIAm and DCU

by - 5 October, 2018

Last week AsIAm was honoured to welcome Dr. Stephen Shore, noted autistic academic and speaker, t...[...]

The Clonakilty Commitment – Training Week!

by - 3 October, 2018

The town of Clonakilty in Co. Cork has undertaken a commitment to become fully Autism Friendly – ...[...]

What Strategies can I use for my Non-Verbal Child to ease their Transition?

by - 28 September, 2018

All autistic children experience challenges in communication. While many might have an extensive ...[...]

BUY YOUR COPY: Mary Immaculate publishes a handbook for educators – “Autism from the Inside Out”

by - 21 September, 2018

AsIAm would like to thank Dr Emer Ring and her colleagues from Mary Immaculate College (MIC)'s De...[...]

Meet Our New Information Officer!

by - 21 September, 2018

AsIAm is delighted to welcome two new members of staff to our team this autumn! Michael O'Flan...[...]

How Can I Apply for a Special Needs Assistant (SNA)?

by - 20 September, 2018

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has just completed a review of the Special Need...[...]

How can My Child Be Supported if They’re Having a Meltdown?

by - 20 September, 2018

Research continues to tell us that we must view ‘challenging behaviour’ as a way in which the chi...[...]

How can I Explain My Child’s Sensory Needs to their New Teacher?

by - 19 September, 2018

Your child’s teacher may already be aware of autistic children's sensory needs. However, if your ...[...]

What’s an Individual Education Plan (IEP) & how can I Set One Up for My Child?

by - 18 September, 2018

An Individual Education Plan, often referred to as an ‘IEP’, is a plan to support your child’s le...[...]

What can I Do if my Child Doesn’t Want to go Back to School?

by - 14 September, 2018

Dr Emer Ring is the Head of the Department of Reflective Pedacology and Early Childhood Studies a...[...]

How can I help Ease My Child Back into the School Routine from Home?

by - 11 September, 2018

We all struggle getting back into our regular routine after holidays and for autistic children, w...[...]

What Resources are Available to Support Families on their Transitions in School?

by - 7 September, 2018

There is a wide range of resources available to support parents and children on this exciting jou...[...]

Is it a Good Idea to Arrange a Meeting with their Teacher? If so, What Should I Ask?

by - 4 September, 2018

It is a really good idea and absolutely essential to arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher,...[...]

Are there Things I can do at Home to Prepare my Child for Starting School?

by - 31 August, 2018

Parents and families are preparing their children for school from the day they are born and not j...[...]

What are the Most Important Things to Consider when Choosing a School for my Child?

by - 29 August, 2018

Starting school is one of the biggest events in both a family member's and a child's life. All be...[...]

Kevin Hanley: Back to Routine!

by - 27 August, 2018

Returning to routine after a break can be a tough one to get your head around, especially after a...[...]

AsIAm CEO Speaks before the Oireachtas Education Committee

by - 27 June, 2018

AsIAm Founder and CEO Adam Harris called on the Department of Education to deliver training to te...[...]

Melissa Mooney: Autism is a Superpower!

by - 19 June, 2018

Melissa, a young woman living with Asperger's, talks about her experiences with her autism and ab...[...]

AsIAm official charity partner at the forthcoming Arsenal vs Chelsea match

by - 13 June, 2018

It was with great pride and excitement that we announce today that AsIAm will be charity partner ...[...]

NCSE’s Review of Special Needs Assistants Explained

by - 31 May, 2018

This week, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) launched its review into the Special...[...]

AsIAm National Autism Conference 2018: “Building Inclusive Communities”

by - 6 May, 2018

We are delighted to make the tickets available for our 3rd Annual AsIAm National Autism Conferenc...[...]

Interview: Jody O’Neill – Autism & Entrepreneurship

by - 4 May, 2018

Jody O’Neill is a young self-advocate attending Castletroy College in County Limerick. She has se...[...]

Stimming

by - 25 April, 2018

Stimming (short for self-stimulatory behaviour) is a repetitive series of actions which an autist...[...]

Building an Autism-Friendly Environment

by - 23 April, 2018

We often think of Autism Friendly environments as a strictly sensory exercise and that’s certainl...[...]

Aisling Foran: Listening & Social Groups

by - 20 April, 2018

WHAT IS THE TRIPLE A ALLIANCE? Triple A Alliance was set up in 2002 by a group of parents who wa...[...]

Make Your Club Autism-Friendly

by - 19 April, 2018

Awareness about autism has increased among society in recent years. This is a positive developmen...[...]

Check In & Ask

by - 18 April, 2018

Day #17 of our #AsImChallenge is about checking in and asking. Successful autism inclusion is ...[...]

Conducting Autism-Friendly Interviews

by - 17 April, 2018

Businesses have begun to recognise the valuable skills that autistic employees can bring to the w...[...]

Creating a Quiet Space

by - 16 April, 2018

Sensory rooms or quiet spaces are designated areas where autistic people can use to stim or retre...[...]

Create a “Social story” for your business or organisation

by - 15 April, 2018

Social stories are short guides of a particular situation, event or activity. They include specif...[...]

Making Written Communication Clear

by - 14 April, 2018

We often think of autism’s major difficulties with communication and language as an almost exclus...[...]

Making Your Organisation Sensory-Friendly

by - 13 April, 2018

Day#12 of our #AsIAmChallenge is about being aware of people's sensory needs. Autistic individual...[...]

Check out our Sensory Checklist Tool!

by - 13 April, 2018

It's Day 12 of #AsIAmChallenge and things have taken a big step up! Today we are challenging memb...[...]

Autism & Stereotyping

by - 12 April, 2018

Autism is widely known yet it is not widely understood. Awareness of the condition has grown in r...[...]

AsIAm Cautiously Welcomes the UNCRPD’s Ratification

by - 8 March, 2018

AsIAm welcomes the government’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Pe...[...]

Changes In Routine: What do I do?

by - 28 February, 2018

Changes in schedule or routine can make autistic people – children as well as adults – anxious an...[...]

Nicole Duggan: My Boy Blue

by - 19 February, 2018

Nicola Duggan is a young parent of a child on the autism spectrum. She has been blogging about he...[...]

Spotlight: Autism Spectrum Fitness

by - 15 February, 2018

Fitness and keeping up exercise can be challenging habits to start, nevermind keep, for those of ...[...]

Interview: YLT’s Ben Rowsome & his Garda Youth Award

by - 9 February, 2018

Earlier this week, Co. Wicklow's Ben Rowsome was nominated for a Garda Youth Award for his advoca...[...]

AsIAm CEO Condemns Irish Rail’s Quiet Carriages Phasing-Out

by - 26 January, 2018

AsIAm CEO Adam Harris has condemned Irish Rail’s move to phase out its quiet carriages from its D...[...]

Interview: Dr John Hillery

by - 10 January, 2018

Dr John Hillery is the President of the College of Psychiatrists in Ireland.  In this exclusive ...[...]

Brian Irwin: Accessibility & Finding the Supports You Need

by - 19 December, 2017

Brian Irwin, a self advocate based in Cork, talks about his personal journey as a young person on...[...]

AsIAm CEO attends SuperValu Autism-Friendly Shopping Project Launch

by - 1 December, 2017

AsIAm Founder and CEO Adam Harris helped launch SuperValu’s Autism-Friendly Shopping project earl...[...]

Kevin Hanly: “Take it One Day at a Time”

by - 28 November, 2017

Beginning a new start anywhere – whether it’s a new school, a new college or a job – is as exciti...[...]

Eleanor Walsh: “You Matter!”

by - 23 November, 2017

Eleanor Walsh, a member of our Youth Leadership Team, lets those of us on the spectrum know why w...[...]

Brian Irwin: Sensory Overload & Meltdowns

by - 8 November, 2017

Sensory overloads are common experiences with many autistic individuals and can often lead to mel...[...]

Interview: PRISM DLR Autism Support Group

by - 25 October, 2017

Support groups are invaluable resources for the autism community, from individuals on the spectru...[...]

Laura Crean: Just what is a ‘successful’ transition?

by - 17 October, 2017

Laura Crean is a member of AsIAm's Youth Leadership Team and currently in her first year of study...[...]

Kevin McLoughlin: ‘Look At Me Now’

by - 4 October, 2017

Kevin McLoughlin is a member of our Youth Leadership Team and is currently completing his Leaving...[...]

Louise Ryan: Knowing Parents’ Rights for Your Child’s Education

by - 2 October, 2017

Louise Ryan from Co. Limerick, a mother of two young boys on the autistic spectrum, talks about h...[...]

Socialising & Building Social Skills

by - 29 September, 2017

Amid preparing for school or for college, whilst we’re often completely caught up worrying if we’...[...]

AsIAm Founder & CEO Adam Harris Speaks at Mary Immaculate College

by - 25 September, 2017

The AsIAm team travelled to Limerick City on Friday, where our Founder and CEO Adam Harris delive...[...]

Joanne Weller: Back to Education and Transitioning from School to College and Further Education

by - 22 September, 2017

It’s the time of month again to go back to school and starting third level education, even going ...[...]

Kevin Hanly: New Journeys Starting College

by - 1 September, 2017

With the college term fast approaching, students across Ireland are busy readying themselves for ...[...]

Spotlight: HSE ASD Review

by - 30 August, 2017

HSE ASD Review The HSE are seeking written submissions for a review into the different services p...[...]

Summer on the Autistic Spectrum: A Parent’s Take

by - 23 August, 2017

Summers can be challenging for the parents of autistic children. With school out, regular routine...[...]

Spotlight: Dr Temple Grandin in Cork

by - 21 August, 2017

The AsIAm team travelled to Cork city this Friday past to attend an afternoon lecture from Dr Tem...[...]

Autism and the Internet: Keeping Yourself Safe Online

by - 11 August, 2017

The internet can be a powerful platform and a huge resource for the autistism community. A wealth...[...]

Sibling Safety this Summer

by - 4 August, 2017

The season of summer is well underway. As we enter August, children everywhere across Ireland wi...[...]

Spotlight: Sensory Room at the Sligo Clayton Hotel

by - 2 August, 2017

This week, Sligo’s Clayton Hotel became the first hotel in Ireland to establish a room specifical...[...]

Poem: BE YOU – NIQUE

by - 25 July, 2017

Leigh E. O'Brien's young nephew Liam lives with autism. Earlier this year, she composed this poem...[...]

Spotlight: Middletown Centre for Autism

by - 24 July, 2017

The Middletown Centre for Autism is an educational and research facility whose work revolves arou...[...]

Adam Kennefick: Autism Through My Eyes

by - 17 July, 2017

When I was just a small child, my parents and teachers noticed something different about me. They...[...]

Interview: Senator Dr. James Reilly

by - 13 July, 2017

Earlier this week, as his Autism Spectrum Disorder Bill passed through the Seanad, we sat down wi...[...]

Positive progress made as Autism Bill passes through Seanad Éireann

by - 13 July, 2017

AsIAm Ireland has warmly welcomed the passage through Seanad Éireann of the Autism Spectrum Disor...[...]

Interview: Autism, Tipp G.A.A. and Me

by - 6 July, 2017

This week, we sat down with Kevin Hanly, a young man from Tipperary to talk about his experiences...[...]

BLOG: Hello from the other side

by - 10 March, 2017

Trish Flood, a mum to two boys on the Autism Spectrum and a super advocate for the Autism Communi...[...]

Stepping off the treadmill: Getting a Diagnosis as an Adult

by - 10 March, 2017

A blog by Brian Irwin,  AsIAm Volunteer & Secondary School Speaker in the Cork Region [capti...[...]

Michael Ryan: Secondary School – Getting off to the right start

by - 1 September, 2015

Starting or returning to Secondary School can be a big change and a challenge for all students, h...[...]

President Michael D. Higgins becomes Patron of AsIAm.ie

by - 22 April, 2015

AsIAm.ie is pleased to announce that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has kindly agr...[...]

Jonathan Victory: Aspergers Syndrome & Martial Arts

by - 5 December, 2014

Jonathan Victory shares his positive experiences of Martial Arts as someone with Aspergers Synd...[...]

Parents Guide: Birthday Parties

by - 29 September, 2014

Attending, and having, a Birthday party is an important part of growing up! For children with A...[...]

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