As I am sets out to:
*Educate: through increasing and improving accessibility of information, to equip people with Autism and their families to understand the condition better.
*Empower: they believe that for too long those with Autism have been told what their needs are and what to do about them. They aim to be a user-led initiative.
*Advocate: by acting as a hub for the AS community in Ireland they want to draw on common areas of concern raised by users and develop public awareness and policy campaigns around these issues.
and finally they are setting out to create a Community. They aim to provide a safe, pleasant space for the AS community to share experiences, concerns and ideas with others with similar experiences.
To do this Adam has put together an impressive website which includes a forum for groups and individuals. I would encourage you to go and join up right now by clicking HERE
The launch was in a fabulous venue; No 10 Ormond Quay and was attended by celebrities from national radio, TV and print media.
It was however launched by genuine Autism specialists like Prof Louise Gallagher from Trinity University, a world leader in research into Genetics in Autism. There was a speech from Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly, TD. who congratulated Adam on his initiative and the event was hosted by Norah Casey, former “Dragon” investor on Dragon’s Den and host of Newstalk Breakfast.
But the real stars were the people with Autism. I was thrilled to meet Sean Foley who appeared in the same documentary that my family were in a few years ago: “Life With Autism.”
I also shook hands with Jamie Reilly (Minister Reilly’s son) who is embarking on his PHD in genetics in NUI Galway and the lovely Laragh Smith who appears in the launch video with Sean.
I was amused to see TV weather man Martin King, standing alone. I went over to thank him for helping to launch Grace App on the Morning Show in 2010 and he too seemed ‘star struck” by this new guard of self advocates, shaping a future to suit themselves.
So for the month of April, I am handing this blog over to the people with Autism, specialists in Autism and people who love people with Autism. Watch out for an encore from Sean Mulligan tomorrow and some stories from around the globe on how people with Autism are taking the initiative to help themselves and others.
If you want to take part, email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you tomorrow xx
* If you want to support As I Am in raising a little bit of start up capital you can go here and contribute to his crowd funding campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/asiam-ie-launch-fundraising-appeal