Today, Wednesday the 29th of March, we had a workshop on Disability Awareness Training. It was really interesting as the workshop was delivered by a man who had a road accident, as a result he now only has one arm. He talked about disabilities, the large range they take in from bipolar to wheelchair users for example. The lifestyle of people with disabilities, and how they often require PA’s – Personal Assistants. The assistants are designed to how people with disabilities cook food, bathe and get dressed. Anything that they would struggle to do by themselves. He talked also about the language you should use when speaking of someone who has a disability. Words that shouldn’t be used because they are offensive and insensitive. Richard Alcorn, the man who gave the workshop today, is a member of Donegal CIL. Donegal CIL support and empower disabled people to achieve independent living and to actively participate as equal citizens by having choice and control. I really enjoyed today, because it was very interesting. Something I’ve never experienced anything like before.
Last night, Monday the 13th of March, RTÉ aire a documentary entitled “Autism and Me”, the documentary was created by producer Christine Thornton.
She was inspired to create this documentary after hearing Adam Harris, an Irish 22 year old, speaking on the radio. Adam was 18 years old at the time, and he was discussing his experiences with the “invisible” condition.
Christine was then prompted to not only meet Adam but also to go in search of more people, who might, if Christine was lucky enough, describe their personal experience with Autism. Perhaps then, with their help, they could convey what Autism is, and disregard the myths and misconceptions about the condition.
The following are a list of those involved in the documentary:
Adam Harris (22)
Adam has Asperger’s Syndrome, in the documentary he discusses his experience with Autism and reflects on childhood videos from his playschool years, where he is seen to be irritated and mad. Adam has set up AsIAm, an organisation that supports people with Autism and educates people on the condition.
Fiacre is non-verbal. Until 2013, Fiacre was unable to express his thoughts and feelings to his family. 4 years ago, his parents discovered an experimental method of communication called RPM. This then enabled Fiacre to reveal to his family his thoughts and feelings. Fiacre is very clever and has a bright future ahead of him, as everyday his family and friends are shocked by his revelations.
Both having Autism but are on different levels. Their parents are looking towards the future and how adulthood will treat them.
Niamh Biddulph (19)
Strives each day to become an independent adult and dreams of going to college and having a family. Most of all, she wants to be accepted for who she is and not for the condition she has.
Hughie Malone (11)
1 in 65 school children are diagnosed with Autism. The documentary opened my eyes in so many ways and I’m so grateful to now further my knowledge on the invisible condition, autism.