The Genesis Programme collaborates with Réalt na Mara NS to deliver first programme for parents with children on the Autism Spectrum or with Language Delays
The first programme delivered by The Genesis Programme for parents with children on the Autism Spectrum or with Language Delays has proved to be hugely beneficial to the participants as outlined at their Graduation Event on the 10th May 2017 by Sarah O’Connell who was speaking on behalf of all the new graduates.
The graduates were presented with their certificates by Jackie Barron, Early Intervention Team Manager, HSE. Also present on the day to show her support was Cllr. Maeve Yore, who was involved in the establishment of SNAP (Special Needs Active Parents) and a great supporter of work in this area.
The programme which took place in Réalt na Mara NS, Mill Street, Dundalk saw eight parents graduate today at a special event in the Crowne Plaza hotel, where they were presented with certificates by Jackie Barron, Disability Manager, HSE Louth who oversees the work of the Early Intervention Team.
The first Autism class in Réalt na Mara NS was established in September 1999. Each class celebrates the uniqueness of every child as expressed in the child’s personality, intelligence and potential for development. The aim of the Autism Classes is to provide a supportive, caring, learning environment which facilitates the nurturing of each pupil’s full educational potential.
The event also saw other local schools, agencies and groups come together to showcase the work they are doing in this field and create networking opportunities.
Irish Autism Action says that 276,000 people in Ireland know that Autism will be part of their journey every day. The Autism Counts Prevalence Study in 2011 said that the number of people diagnosed with Autism would fill the Aviva Stadium whilst the number impacted by the diagnosis would fill the Aviva Stadium five times over.
The programme was facilitated by Rebecca Cullen from Réalt na Mara NS and Yvonne Forde, Development Officer (Schools Programmes) with The Genesis Programme.
Speaking at the event, Rebecca Cullen, Réalt na Mara NS said: ‘This programme is offered to parents of young children (aged 2-5) on the Autism Spectrum or with Language Delays in order to promote children’s emotional regulation, social competence, language skills, school readiness, and relationships with others. The programme is guided by cognitive social learning theory, modeling, attachment, developmental theories and research. A key element of this educational programme is the collaborative leadership style of the Group Leaders. This collaborative approach ensures that parents ‘own ‘the material because the basic principles have been drawn from them. Through this programme parents learn how to enter their child’s world and become their child’s first playmate. The programme also helps parents develop support systems that enhance their parenting confidence and understanding of the valuable role they play in promoting their children’s optimal development, thereby affecting their future’.
Yvonne Forde from The Genesis Programme thanked and congratulated the parents for taking part in this first programme of its kind delivered in Louth. She also thanked everyone at Réalt na Mara NS but especially Mr. Phil McCaul, the Principal and Mrs. Adele Clune, the Deputy Principal for their commitment and willingness to get involved.
An informal Networking Event took place before the Graduation involving the schools who have or will have Autism or Language Delay classes in Dundalk and Drogheda – St. Nicholas NS, Redeemer Boys’ School, St. John’s JNS, Better Start AIM (Access & Inclusion Model) team, National Council for Special Education, SNAP (Special Needs Active Parents) and Louth County Childcare Committee.