A Chara readers,
April is World autism month and a good time to let all families out there know that if you have a family member or indeed yourself on the autism spectrum that support is much nearer than you may think.
Midlands West and border (MWB) autism support is a Longford based group set up in 2008 to support families in the BMW area.
This is a parent led and run support group and at present have members from Longford, Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo but are open to new members from any of the BMW area counties.
We have updated our information leaflet with the help of the longford volunteer services who have never been found wanting and have it printed on blue paper as that is the colour for autism.
At our last AGM a new Committee was elected which includes Ndidi Ann Idehen as Chairperson, Michael Bryson secretary, Nicola Gerety Treasurer, Irene McNally assistant treasurer, and Evelyn Bannon and Mary Ross as ordinary Committee members.
Indeed these are very different times that we are going through as we are unable to hold events now like we have done past years.
As a general rule we love to run social events and had regular monthly outings. We try to have as varied as activities as possible and had everything from indoor play centres and cinema outings to outdoor activities such as horse riding, go karting, canoeing, picnics, orienteering, swimming and blackberry picking.
A big annual outing was the highlight of the year which involved a coach trip to places such as Viking Splash in Dublin, Water World in Drogheda, Tayto Park in Meath and Jump Zone in Dublin.
We hope to get back to these sort of activities when things are a bit more normal as it is very challenging for families who have members on the spectrum to deal with in a lockdown situation.
In the short term we will have support meetings by zoom with one on Friday evening, April 30 at 8pm. For details of the Code for the zoom support meeting and any other information we can be contacted by getting in touch with Ndidi on 089 9628827 and firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael 0879877342 and email@example.com.
We are planning to have either a Mindfulness or Yoga Online class for parents to help them unwind in the month of May .
A lot of activities are taking place at present online and members of MWB are kept up to date by having events such as training or conferences notified to them by email or if that doesn't suit by phone.
Anyone can check us out on our website www.mwbautism.ie or on facebook MWB Autism Support or by contacting Ndidi or Michael (or any committee member) for information.
New members are always welcome and membership forms can be sent out to anyone interested in joining the group.
Our symbol is the Oak tree with the Acorns representing our children who will grow into mighty oaks with the help of their parents and wider community.
As it says in our motto “Ní neart go cur le Cheile” - No strength without unity (community).
MWBas are extremely grateful to the communities in Longford aswell as surrounding counties for their financial support and good wishes when we have held our church gate collections and other forms of fundraising so Mile buiochas.
Here is hoping that you all keep well and keep safe.
Is mise le meas,