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26 Jun 2022

New series aimed at supporting children with autism ahead of new school term

 New series aimed at supporting children with autism ahead of new school term

AsIAm CEO Adam Harris

Ireland’s national autism charity AsIAm has, in partnership with Aviva Ireland, has launched a new content series that is aimed at supporting children with autism ahead of the new school year. 

The objective of this new programme is to enable children to develop and maintain key skills over the remainder of the summer in preparation for their return to school.  The content series will also build on the content launched last year that included back to school sensory packs that were distributed to families throughout the country.

 Developed in collaboration with educational practitioners, the content series of 15-20 videos can be accessed through the Aviva website at www.aviva.ie/summerchallenge 

Each video will focus on a particular skill such as confidence building exercises, cooking demonstrations, art-based activities, and physical exercises, providing several activities to help develop the featured skills.

While the series was developed in the context of the autism community, the activities can be enjoyed by all members of the family and were specifically designed to be inclusive for all.

The video series will also be accompanied by a 73-page resource booklet that will act as an additional support. In addition, the content series will supplement the Government’s ‘summer programme’ of 40 hours to help support autistic young people, and other children with additional needs, with on average 70% of children accessing the programme at home, which often doubles as a respite for families.

 Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm said today: “The long break from the routine of school during the summer holidays poses a number of challenges for families in the autism community. The lengthy period without school and the routine that it provides can lead to increased stress and anxiety and result in some children not retaining the hard-learnt skills from the previous year. Over the past number of months families in the autism community have highlighted their serious concerns regarding the impact this is having on their children’s existing skills and further development. We are delighted to once again partner with Aviva Ireland to address this issue. This year’s partnership builds on the success of last year’s back-to-school sensory packs that were designed to keep children stimulated and active in line with their sensory needs”.

Brian O’Neill, Head of External Communications, Brand & Sponsorship at Aviva Ireland said: “We recognise the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion, both within our business and externally. In 2020, working with AsIAm, we installed a sensory hub in Aviva Stadium that offers a multi-sensory space for both children and adults that can be adapted to the individual needs of each user.

"We also work with our charity partners, Temple Street and Shine Centre for Autism in Cork on a number of inclusivity projects. We have learned a lot about the additional challenges facing the autism community over the last number of months and we wanted to continue to provide support for children and their families as they return to school after yet another challenging year”.

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