Families attend cross border celebration

PEOPLE with autism and their families attended a special event recently to mark their participation in a unique cross border autism project called ‘Turning the Curve.’

In total 250 people attended from counties Armagh and Down and also from across the wider border region. The Turning the Curve project, which was awarded funding from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme, has been assisting young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area.

Over the past two years, young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), aged from 14 to 19 years, have received a variety of practical supports depending on needs. This has included assistance with moving from full time education into adulthood, training or employment. The project also focused on improving the social and communication skills of the young people through a variety of local community activities and planned group programmes.

To mark the success of Turning the Curve, this event was organised by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), cross border health and social care partnership. At the event young people from the Southern Trust counties of Armagh and Down received certificates to mark their participation in the Turning the Curve autism project. Also these young people had the opportunity to display their achievements at the event. This included arts and crafts, filming making, drama and photography demonstrations. Phillip Vennard, a parent of a Turning the Curve participant, gave his view. He said: “As parents we are very thankful for all the support received for our daughter Lynsey from the Turning the Curve Project.

For without this help and support we genuinely feel that Lynsey wouldn’t have made as much progress as she has today.”

Parent, Joanne Creaney from Aughnacloy said: “Saturday’s celebration of the Turning the Curve Project really illuminated the skills and talents of the young people with ASD. Being a parent of two young boys with ASD, it was lovely to be part of the day and experience all of the achievements.”