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Declan Sweeney

ReConnect Autism/Level 1

Awardee 2009

ReConnect Autism/Level 1
Margaret Keane
Jipe Kelly & Angeles Mbwoge

International research suggests that 1% of children develop an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. In Ireland, the prevalence of autism is rising and its impact on children and their families can be devastating.

There is deep dissatisfaction among families with children on the autism spectrum with the range of services available in Ireland. These services can fail in many ways to give the child an understanding of behaviour and communication and the necessary skills to develop to their full potential and enjoy a decent quality of life. As a result, Declan Sweeney launched ReConnect Autism bringing the Relationship Development Programme (RDI) to Ireland for the first time.

RDI teaches the parent to be their child’s therapist and to educate their child at home through RDI’s innovative curriculum. The end result for the autistic child is an improved understanding of relationships and the ability to cope in a changing world – traditionally core deficits of autism.

Prior to moving to Ireland, Declan worked with people with autism for 15 years in the UK.Through ReConnect Autism Declan aimed to bring new hope to the thousands of families in Ireland affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Declan is currently manager of services at the Irish Society for Autism. Reconnect Autism was Ireland’s only provider of the RDI USA-based Program, which focuses on solutions instead of problems. ReConnect provided the RDI program directly to the homes of families throughout Ireland.

ReConnect Autism empowers parents of children with autism to take the lead in improving their child’s future quality of life.

Declan Sweeney

Declan Sweeney, Impact Award, 2009


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