Autism Support Louth & Meath is a parent-led group whose main aim is to provide information and support to families of children and adults affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. This self-help group was formed in 2002 by parents of children with Autism. In 2003, this wonderful group founded Drogheda ABACAS School for Children with Autism, now fully recognised by the Department of Education and regarded as an example of best practice in Autism Education in Ireland. There are 30 children with Autism and complex needs attending the school.
The group also runs monthly support group meetings, weekly youth clubs, training courses, provides information and advocacy, lobbies locally and nationally on autism and disability issues and provides a network of parents and families who can support and help each other. One of their main activities is their youth clubs and summer camps, in which over 80 children, teenagers and young adults attend. Activities include music, drama, sound therapy and many day trips out as a social outlet for these children and young adults.
Funds raised by our players helped support their Social Drama project. This enabled the team to hire drama and technical expertise who worked with their older youth club on a number of activities including short films, radio programming for Autism Radio, writing and producing an award winning short film and musical performances. This has allowed the participants to flourish and use their creativity while developing social skills and friendships. There are roles for everyone behind or in front of the camera and heretofore hidden musical and drama talents discovered. This is a hugely enjoyable activity while also developing self-esteem, confidence, skills and friendships. This funding resulted in public performances at community events and work with other local drama groups. All resulting in a positive attitude and awareness of autism in the community.
This is such a vital service for the communities and one we're very much proud to support.