Fundraiser for Creation of Family Therapy Centre for Children on the Autism Spectrum

By Seamus Whelehan

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Four parents whose children have an autism diagnosis have set up a group to help other parents of children on the spectrum. Often referred to as the hidden disability, it can take years to diagnose and can be difficult to understand.
Deirdre Pearson from FACE – Families with Autism Cork East - says families of children with the disorder are under severe pressure which has far reaching effects on their lives. “There is no support for family members either before, during or after diagnosis” she said. Parents are sacrificing jobs, sleep, leisure, social connections and their physical and mental health when struggling to cope with a child on the spectrum.
The group is hosting a Bring and Buy fundraiser at Cobh Ramblers Clubhouse on this Tuesday 2 July at 8:30pm. Ms Pearson said FACE are almost €10,000 short of their goal to open an emergency drop in and support in Carrigtwohill Centre this September. “We were lucky enough to be awarded an amenity grant of €4,000 from Cork County Council this year, but we have to fundraise another €8,000 before we can draw that down” she said. The money raised will help the Charity’s ongoing work to provide families with a toolkit which helps them find balance, meaning and joy through autism. “The idea is that if just one of the parents is at home, the child is having a meltdown, and they don’t know what to do, they can bring them straight in, like an emergency drop in situation” said Ms Pearson.
The group, which was formed last May, is also advocating for more supports for children with special needs. “We are looking for expressions of interest from those who have no school place, to try and engage with the Department of Education to see how we can go forward, and how many tutor rooms we can set up with them” said Ms Pearson.
The group can be contacted on 086 2629 479 or via email at seiscorkmanager@gmail.com

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