My name is Adrian Luk and I am autistic myself. I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 with this type called persvasive developmental disorder not otherwise specific (PDD-NOS) which means there are no specific label whether I am high functioning or severe autistic, I am in the middle of the spectrum. My special interest are Disney characters, costumed characters (like the mascot or the cosplay) and fairy tale. Part of my autism, I have OCD, anxiety disorder, ADD and I can be quite obsessive. And part of my autism, I am likely to have friends who are way younger or older than me (especially the autistic one). My career is to be an autistic advocate someone who speaks up for autism (include those with severe autism) and to make the society be much more accepting rather than think it is something to be change back to normal as having autism is nothing wrong. It is still a disability but it should be still something that is accepted.
I joined Gheel since 2019 summer right after my leaving cert and in Gheel. I am with the outreach service just to be supported with some basic skills like household management etc. And Gheel is also supporting me to be an autistic advocate.
I have a dream to make our society be much more accepting rather than something that needs to be changed. Especially with the criminal justice system and autism as that’s the biggest key issue we have at the moment in our society especially with the person who is high functioning.
So to autistic people, I am there for you in the future. To speak up and make the society be accepting your differences. 🙂
Over the past few years we have shifted the conversation from barriers, triggers and differences to looking at ways to build pathways to meaningful experiences and opportunities. Staff seek to be creative, collaborative and continually conscious to recognise and build pathways with the people we support to their vision of happiness.
Sometimes one small step can be a giant leap!
Dermot is generally a very chatty and social person. There are times when Dermot can spend extended periods of time choosing to be alone. He will have the radio playing all day as Dermot really likes music and knows the words and melodies to a lot of songs. In looking at how to best support Dermot staff continually discuss how positive experiences and increased opportunities enhance his daily experiences.
Dermot would say that he wants to remain in his room, only leaving to use the bathroom and returning straight back after. Staff tried encouraging Dermot to participate in community activities he liked but at this time his preference was to spend time on his own. Staff accepted this was the place Dermot was in at this time and looked at finding opportunities and support to build connections which could enhance Dermot’s self-esteem and wellbeing. The key was looking to his desire to connect rather than our desire for him to make connections.
Late last year, a music therapist was introduced into Dermot’s house as a positive initiative. Initially Dermot was hesitant to come downstairs, but after meeting this therapist he never looked back. His initial curiosity brought him to participate in the activity and the fun and laughter encouraged him to stay. Dermot played instruments during the class and this experience really appeared to brighten his mood. As the weeks went on, Dermot ensured that he was ready and waiting on Thursdays at 2pm for the music therapist to arrive so that he could engage in these classes. He even went close to singing “Yellow Submarine” while playing the bells. His world became a little brighter and he spent less time in his bedroom, even on days when the music therapist wasn’t in. This experience has been invaluable to Dermot’s self-esteem, his mood and on his quality of life. We are celebrating this positive step with Dermot and looking to build on this success with him.
Dermot has been in Gheel for over 30 years and celebrated a big “Roundy” birthday a few weeks ago. He marked his special day with a party surrounded by his friends and family.
Happy birthday Dermot!
My Name is Queenie Dunne. I have Lived in North Circular Road; supported by Gheel Autism services. I have lived here for many years and I love living here. My favorite thing to do is to go on holidays: I plan and save for these trips with the support of my keyworker. The holiday I loved most was a trip to Prague and I got to do some shopping in the Christmas markets.
This year in April I went on holidays to Galway. I wanted a hotel with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi. I picked the Connacht Hotel just outside Galway city. I got the train down to Galway with my keyworker. I had a fantastic day in the pool, Jacuzzi and chatting to people I met. I had dinner in the hotel restaurant and had a glass of wine or maybe two! After dinner I danced away to a live band.
In the morning I had a big buffet breakfast. I did some shopping, I love shopping. I then headed off to do some sightseeing on the hop on and off tour train around the city and out to Salthill. I relaxed in the Quays bar before catching my train back to Dublin.
I am already planning my next trip for this year. I would like to go to London to see a musical and to do some shopping and sightseeing.
Jason helped me get my work experience. Jason and I went into the shop and met Keith, the shop owner. We asked Keith did he need any help in his shop. I felt nervous because I was meeting someone new.
I post letters for Claudine (Location Manager) and do some emails. I also did an interview before my work experience in Donnycarney which helped me to prepare.
I felt alright before my first day. I was nervous and couldn’t sleep. I was nervous because I didn’t know what Keith was going to be like.
No at all. That’s why I felt nervous.
To be honest, I had to work behind the counter when Keith was busy. I helped the customers with what they were looking for. I also helped taking the plastic off new stock.
I learned to work with new people. I had to talk nice to the customers as well.
I felt happy..completed first day. I felt shocked because Keith gave me a free bottle of coke at the end, which I wasn’t expecting. I had my purse out ready to pay him for the coke and everything!
I started working in Gheel Autism Services because I wanted to support adults with autism. I have a brother with autism so it means a lot to me. I want the people I support to reach their goals and to experience being part of the community.
When I saw Gheel’s aims and values, it showed a lot about the service in my opinion. I love my job because it is like my second family. I look forward to seeing service users as their smile says it all when they see their staff. They look forward to their day like going for a drive, going for a walk, painting, baking, watching a movie or even just having a chat with the staff.
I look forward to seeing the staff as we discuss goals that have been met for service users or upcoming goals. A typical day for myself would involve supporting service users to make breakfast, assisting them with personal care, going out on adventures like a drive or a walk. I also support individuals to attend appointments, being there for them, supporting them through daily and nightly routines and achievement of their goals.
I go to work with a smile and go home with a smile due to the fact that the service user has reached a goal or had a fantastic day. We all have good days and bad days but they really need us on the bad days which makes me smile because they trust us.
A career aspiration for me is to become full time as I am relief staff at the moment and hopefully in the future to become part of the management team.
A quality service is a service that takes care of their staff and gets the required training for their staff.
By Zarah Conyard, Fairview Bungalow, started 14th May 2018
I like bowling. I like wall climbing.
I like baking and I like cooking.
I like dance class. I like hiking.
World research, learning about Nigeria and other countries.
I am doing Communication in ASDAN.
Movies @ Dundrum.
Finding Dory. Beauty and the Beast. Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Cars.
I enjoy spending time on the computer. I enjoy going to town to charity shops.
This a picture of me in the library.
Follow me on my instagram account @myboostergram
"Today I stand in front of you as a person with a home that I can call my own and now I'm living the Irish dream"
My name is PJ. I'm going to tell you a bit about my story.
I was having problems at home with my family and I couldn’t live there anymore. I was in touch with Laura by the counsellor in the Mater hospital. Laura and I worked together to get me home because I was a sofa surfer at that time. But every door we went through was locked. I went to see Deirdre, a psychologist from Gheel. She was a window for me to get a house.
I tried to get on the housing list but because of my disability I found the form impossible to fill out. My sister filled it out for me first but then the social housing office lost the form and then found it again after I filled out another one. So I put up on Facebook, "how could someone lose a social housing form?" because the form is so difficult to fill out.
I had nowhere to go. I ended up in a hostel. I had my own room, but I didn’t have my own space. The TV was upstairs and there was always a fight. And when they were drunk they were worse. Because of my condition I was taken advantage of. It was bad time, I was nearly losing my job because of it.
I was put in contact with Outreach. I met Paul once a week. I had to get an independent living skills certificate to get a house. I did the independent living skills course after I got my certificate I became a team leader and I started to help other people in the same boat as me.
After that I got an apartment from Outreach. I love my apartment; it's a nice space, it's comfy, it's easy to clean, the view is amazing, the sun is beaming at you all day, you get a tan. It makes me feel great because it's your own, it's your own space, you can do anything you want. It's your pad.
How did it change my life? Dramatically. I used the opportunities I was given to my full advantage. I started going to the gym 7 days a week, I started eating healthy, I gave up smoking, started drinking less, I started losing weight. I was 19 stone and now I'm down to 12 stone. I got supports to do activities and I did things I never got to do before. Next year, my new year's resolution is to go on holidays. One day I'd really love to be a gym instructor. I love all the classes TRX, spinning, boxing, circuit, kettle bells and all and I like showing people how to do good in classes, the same way I showed people how to cook and other things when I was a team leader.
I'm now living independently. With the support I got, it changed my life because I got to live on my own. I'm well able to manage.I got my own life. I am ecstatic with it. I made so many friends in the gym. Before, I was not able to trust people. Now I can.
I hope my story can inspire other people with the same disability. This story can teach them if they're feeling down, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's small steps by going the gym or talking to people. When you're given a bad hand in life and it knocks you down, you can get back up. I hope this story helps others do the same.
Today I stand in front of you as a person with a home that I can call my own and now I'm living the Irish dream.
Eoin's Speech at the Gaisce Awards Ceremony
Good afternoon Lords and Ladies
Where do I begin?
How about Muck and Magic? Where I have volunteered for the past 6 months. I am no Monty Don, but it has really opened my eyes to the world of gardening. I took Tai Chi aswell, unleashing my inner Shaolin Warrior. Finally, even if we didn't make it to Inis Eoin, as I had suggested, I still had a fantastic experience and a room to myself on the adventure journey.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be standing here today, in fact a few times it looked like I might give up, but with the help of Emma and Sarah I succeeded.
I am now going to quote the modern day poet and prophet Brendon Urie who did not long ago declare 'You have to have high hopes for a living, shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing, didn't have a dime but I also had a vision, always had high hopes. You have to have high high hopes for a living, didn't know but I always had a feeling, I was going to be that one in a million, always had high hopes'.
And that poem has had a profound influence over me over the last few months while going my Gasice awards. I aimed high and most definitely succeeded.
I would like to thank my Mom, my Dad, my brother, the entire Sheedy and Tierney families, the entire staff at Gheel and everyone else who helped me along the way.
I never imagined this day would come, it has surpassed my wildest expectations.
Thank you to all and here is to a bright and optimistic future.
Dedicated to Philomena Tierney (1929 - 2016).
Best Grandmother any Grandson could ask for.