Autism for the longest time has been something that has not been well understood by the general public but, that seems to be changing over time especially here in West Cork where Ireland's first Autism friendly town is located.
Clonakilty is a beautiful historic town and is a well known tourist hot spot. The town has truly brought itself into the modern world. To earn the designation of being an Autism friendly town a massive process to train a large percentage of local businesses, schools, public services, health care professionals and educate the towns population.
Organisations that are accredited will display a sticker on premises to highlight this. One of the many things these organisations have done to earn this accreditation is offer a sensory activity or quiet space.
One of the worst feelings being a parent of a child with autism is the struggle to tell your child you cannot take them somewhere that their friends get to go because you know it will overwhelm and distress them.
It is a truly amazing thing to know that the people on the spectrum in West Cork can even go to the cinema now. This used to be such an awful experience and stressful watching someone you love fill with fear in the dark, loud sudden noises making them shake with anxiety and cover their ears.
The Park Cinema offers a sensory friendly screening on the first Saturday of every month with the lights on and the volume at a level that can be handled.
Clonakity is a shining example at what we should all aim to achieve to be accepting, considerate and supportive of others no matter what struggles they may have in life.
For more information on please visit Clonakilty's official website
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