West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Tribute to all helped make Autism Awareness Day a success

Published: 4 April, 2014

Sinn Féin Councillor Michelle Mc Mackin has paid tribute to all those who helped make the marking of Work Autism Awareness Day locally such a resounding success.

She said,

"Due to the efforts of local support groups SAN-NAS (Strabane Autism Network-National Autistic Society, Strabane/Lifford) and the local branch of NI Autism (Strabane/Castlederg) the district was to the fore in marking World Autism Awareness Day. The wide variety of events held and the wider community support they were given has helped raise awareness about Autism and hopefully much more understanding of the day to day difficulties people with autism and their families face.

"The "Lighting up Blue" of the Alley Theatre and the Tinnies Sculptures last Wednesday were important symbolic gesture in spreading the message that the uniqueness and difficulties people with Autism have need to be cherished and supported and not the subject of prejudice, derision and bullying as unfortunately they too often are.

"It was fantastic therefore to see our local primary schools and Sure Start providers enthusiastically embracing the message that "it's Ok to be different" by holding "Onesie" days and to see the massive support given by the wider community to coffee morning events and the quiz in the Fir Trees.

"The monies raised in all these events will be of great assistance in further breaking down the barriers of misunderstanding about autism; provide much needed information and practical support for families with children and adults with autism as well as help to facilitate a wide range of social activities for them and events on an all year round basis.