Local autism advocates were delighted when Lusk was chosen for the AsIAm Autism Friendly Town’s project 2022! Over the next few years Lusk will be supported by AsIAm to introduce autism-friendly measures into community organisations, healthcare services, businesses etc that will improve participation in community life for autistic people in Lusk.
Following their first meeting with AsIAm in May, the committee set about collaborating with Lusk Action Group to organise a Sensory Friendly Area at the inaugural Lusk Summer Festival. Thanks to the many volunteers and businesses who kindly donated their time and equipment, autistic children and their families could attend the festival reassured there was somewhere quiet to go if they needed a break. There was a great turn-out in October for the talks held at Lusk Community Hall. Guest speakers included Adam Harris of AsIAm, Elaine McGoldrick autistic advocate and member of Clonakilty AFT committee, Steven Peet from Clonakilty GAA – an autism-friendly club, Lusk parent and advocate Justin Dawson, Rush and Lusk Educate Together – participant in the AsIAm Autism Schools Project, and Loraine Power and Sophie Brown of Power Drama School. All spoke very passionately about what it means to be inclusive, how this is achieved and the positive impact that autism-friendly practices have not just on autistic people but on the whole community. November saw the launch of Lusk AFT website, a great resource for anybody wishing to find out more about what is available in the community and beyond (www.inclusionlusk.ie) . Congratulations to Lusk Junior Park Run which recently became the first club to sign up with Lusk AFT to become ‘Autism Champions’. A Social Story containing pictures and words to describe the weekly run and warm-up exercises was created to help children who benefit from being able to predict what is going to happen at an event. Creating a Social Story is one of the criteria for becoming an Autism Champion. If your organisation would like to become an Autism Champion or you would like to get involved with Lusk AFT, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You for your support in 2022. - Happy New Year!