Aspire is the Autism Spectrum Association of Ireland. We are a national organisation and registered charity that was established in 1995 by a group of parents, to support individuals with a diagnosis of aspergersyndrome, a type of autism on the autism spectrum. Today we do not categorise autismin the same way. We are still supporting our aspergers community but we are expanding our remit to support the broader autistic community.
At Aspire we operate a family inclusive model and aim to support and assist both the autistic individual and their support network. We advocate on behalf of autistic people and provide them with the tools to advocate for themselves.
We manage a residential service, where we assist individuals in gaining independent living skills. We operate a person centred model and support community engagement.
Aspire residential is funded by the Health Service Executive and monitored by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
We operate a Social Enterprise, called Aspire Designs. This will provide meaningful work experience and progression, skills and training to autistic adults. We have a talented team of autistic graphic designers who are creating unique greeting cards, utilising their skillset and interests. Aspire Designs is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal the Community Services Programme.
We run a number of social meet up groups and support programmes for both adults and youths.
We provide training and support to schools, colleges, workplaces and community services.
We provide resources, easy read guides and information to assist the autistic person and their family. These include: characteristics of autism, assessment process, allowances, educational supports, Independent living skills, sensory difficulties, social isolation and mental health difficulties.
To achieve these goals, Aspire focuses on five key areas:
To ensure that information and a network of support is available to anyone who needs it
To promote an understanding of the unique qualities of people with Asperger Syndrome or ASD and their needs, to ensure support is provided in social, educational and employment environments;
To facilitate families of people with ASD or Asperger Syndrome to gain the tools and resources needed for them to support their family member in achieving their goals; and
To participate in and encourage research into ASD or Asperger Syndrome as opportunities present themselves.