We first noticed our son wasn’t responding the way his sister had when he was about 18 months, but we put it down to him being a boy and boys developing differently to girls.
He also had difficulty moving his head to one side which we were getting physiotherapy for so we thought that was another reason for his delays with crawling and walking.
He often showed a lack of interest in toys, had inconsistent response to sounds and his name, delayed speech, limited eye contact and seemed to seek touch and movement. To be honest we were not really sure of the signs to look out for at the time. What really threw us was that he had a lovely calm personality, with no behavioural problems and loved hugs and cuddles. We decided it was best to get some professional advice – and started with his hearing. As concerned parents we wanted to give our little boy the best early intervention possible.
Several months and investigations later, our beautiful adorable boy was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and so began the process of examinations, assessments and therapies which would become part of our little ones life. We applied to early intervention services and for an assessment of needs through the HSE at the same time as seeking a private assessment. Our little one was 2 and half years old when he was officially diagnosed with ASD.
Through this whole experience with our little one we realised the struggles parents face in a similar situation to get information and resources to help support them and their child.
We believe that denying children with disabilities vital supports at an early stage of development is denying them the possibility of developing to their full potential.
Currently many families have to pay privately for these vital supports as the waiting lists are so long, which is a very heavy burden on families who are already under financial pressures. Although there is some financial entitlements available understanding what these are and how to claim them can be difficult. There is also many products to source to help develop your child’s skills and new things to learn to best support their needs. Due to sensory issues going to certain places can sometimes be challenging.
With all this in mind we set a new website called Autism Connects Ireland.
On our website Autism Connects Ireland there is a blog with information about Autism and our stories, a forum for families affected by Autism to connect and share information/stories and concerns.
There is also a section on entitlements and discounts available that may help relieve some of the financial burden parents already face in Ireland.
We review products/services through our review section.
We feel passionate about sharing information. We hope this information will help other parents as they join us on our Autism journey.
Link to our Blog: https://autismconnects.ie/category/autism-blog-ireland/
Link to our Forum: https://autismconnects.ie/autism-connects-forum/
Link to Entitlements: https://autismconnects.ie/entitlements/
Link to Discounts:
Link to our Reviews: