LAST Saturday, April 2, marked the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day and we’re now coming to the end of World Autism Awareness Week. Every year, autism organisations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder more commonly referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder but also known as Autism Spectrum Condition.
It is estimated that one in 100 children are on the Autism spectrum, and individuals with the condition can encounter problems with communication, reciprocal social interaction and a tendency towards restrictive, repetitive and stereotypical routines of behaviour.
Celtic FC Foundation provides weekly support to children, young people and parents of children with Autism through their successful Ability Counts project.
They know only too well the potential that these children and young people have through their outstanding achievements to date. One strand works purely with children and young people with Autism and the other called ‘Autism at Home’ is delivered in partnership with the University of Strathclyde and works with parents of children with autism.
The project offers an opportunity to enhance each child’s wellbeing through supported physical activity such as football and dance with a focus on fun. When working with the parents we strive to enhance their and their Carers’ skills in behaviour management all with an emphasis on promoting the development of social interaction skills for children and young people with Autism.
Ability Counts has grown from strength to strength and we are delighted that it was the principal beneficiary of Celtic FC Foundation’s Annual Sporting Dinner 2016.
This is the second year that the Dinner has supported the project and along with the funds raised in 2015 by Celtic Supporters’ Club, Lurgan No.1 and the Association of Irish Celtic Supporters’ Clubs, the project is now being developed to start expanding its delivery into Ireland.
Tony Hamilton, CEO of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “World Autism Awareness Day is all about raising the profile and awareness of Autism – a condition which can be very misunderstood.
“Through our Ability Counts project we recognise the reality of this every day and strive to create a non-judgemental environment which encourages growth and learning in a safe and fun way.
“We want others to join us in encouraging and promoting the positive impact that people with Autism have in the world and help people to understand that it is not a condition that is visible.
“We extend a heartfelt thanks for the continued support of our supporters and their CSCs who raise vital funds that help us strengthen our delivery here and in Ireland.”
Ability Counts is delivered on a weekly basis. If you would like more information, please contact [email protected]