My name is Deasun Kelly and for the past few months, I have been giving talks in local schools in both Longford and Leitrim.
As a celebration of the awareness raised and support given by the local community, we organised a Blue Funday for Autism in St Mary’s NS.
I would like to thank Deirdre Coffey, the principal of St Mary’s National School Drumlish for hosting the Blue Funday for Autism.
I think that the Blue Funday for Autism in St Mary’s national school was a huge success and I'm extremely humbled that all students and staff members dressed in blue to support the raising of awareness for Autism.
Students partook in a variety of activities including quizzes, word searches, art and much more… Two members of the local band ‘Brave Giant’ Mark Prunty and Ross McNerney came to provide entertainment and they gave out autographs and photos and Micheal Bryson from the MWB Autism Support group also came to support Autism awareness all clad in blue, of course.
All students in the school traced and cut out their hands on blue card which were then stuck onto a tree to act as leaves with the message behind the activity being to grow in awareness and understanding of Autism, together we grow strong.
The day was also to commemorate the official opening of the school’s sensory room which caters for the needs of children with autism or similar special needs in the school such as my brother Diarmuid who has Aspergers Syndrome and he will be attending the school next year.
The importance of the sensory room in the school for people with autism is that it provides somewhere for them to go to when they get confused and muddled up in their heads or are on the verge of sensory overload. They can go there to chill out and prevent many meltdowns in the classroom which, of course would upset the whole class routine for other students.
All the children in the school made a wish on the day. My wish was that as a result of my effort, children with Autism in schools across Ireland can have their needs understood and therefore, have a better school experience overall.
Deasun's mum Siobhan told the 'Leader' that words such as ‘fantastic’, ‘inspirational’ ‘courageous’ and ‘a breath of fresh air’ were used to describe him by local principals and peers, who listened to his talks.
She said, “Deasun has shown us how one child’s voice, with the support of family and local community, can touch the hearts of so many.
“Autism spans many generations and each has their own unique way of spreading awareness: from the founder of MWB Autism Support, Micheal Bryson, to principals and teachers using the form of education, Brave Giant through music and Deasun and his peers through games, art and fun.
“Deasun has brought unity to the community of Drumlish in the name of Autism. Deasun lit a penny candle and is offering it to all to light up awareness and understanding of Autism.
“Help Deasun to make his dream come true to help enhance the educational experience of children with Autism across Ireland.”