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Laois turns blue for local Autism services

Delighted children realease the baloons outside of the Laois Shopping Centre. Photo Denis Byrne.

Delighted children realease the baloons outside of the Laois Shopping Centre. Photo Denis Byrne.

LOFFA (Laois Offaly Families For Autism) along with Rehab Care held an awareness event in Laois Shopping Centre last Wednesday April 2.

That date was World Autism Day and a lots of people visited the stall to get some information on autism and what both LOFFA and Rehab Care do. The groups also released a number of blue balloons into the sky to mark the event.

LOFFA secretary Mary Dunne told the Leinster Express that it was a good opportunity to make people aware of the charity and the work they do.

“This is an awareness raising day. There are 350 families with members who have autism in Laois and Offaly, and our membership has jumped significantly over the past few months. This is not new diagnoses, these are families in crisis”.

Mary said that as well as providing a support network, the group also holds a number of regular events.

“We hold monthly meetings coffee mornings, and we have a monthly play date for younger children with autism, and monthly bowling for the older ones. We work with all ages, from tiny to old, and from mild to severe on the autism spectrum”.

She added that all LOFFA money comes from fundraising and the charity spends €15,000 a year, some of which subsidises families in need.

“There is a three year waiting list for occupational therapy, and a two year waiting list for speech and language therapy, so we subsidise some therapies for families”.

Mary said that LOFFA members draw great support from eachother, online and by phone and email.

To find out more, visit LOFFA on Facebook, or visit www.loffa.ie.

 

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