Team Aspect are now taking on the challenge of RAAM with a view to raising awareness and funding so badly needed by the Aspect Unit of SOS Kilkenny to help them maintain the essential and life changing services they provide for the people (and the families of the people) in their care.
Aspect day service was formally opened in 2013 to provide specialised day services to adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability in the Kilkenny area. Aspect operates under SOS Kilkenny which has charity statues and was set up in the 1960s to provide supports to people with intellectual disabilities, both day and residential. Aspect services are informed and led by the belief that the quality of life is greatly enhanced through opportunities for social inclusion and strives to ensure that services are person centred, of the highest standard and take into account the uniqueness of each individual.
Aspect aims to provide opportunities to individuals to:
• make choices and plans to support personal goals; have purposeful day programmes
• have influence over the decisions which affect their lives achieve personal goals and aspirations be active members of their community.
Individuals that attend the Aspect service have access to the following multidisciplinary supports:
• Behaviour management supports through our own behaviour therapist.
• Psychology and additional behaviour management supports through Studio III on a monthly basis.
• Music therapy on a weekly basis.
• Social Work
• Occupational Therapy through KITE (HSE)
The Aspect building is developed and designed to be” autism friendly”. All lighting in the building was changed to high frequency light bulbs to reduce flicker as some people are sensitive to this experience. The colour scheme in the building is muted tones again to reduce visual distortions that some people may experience. There is carpeted flooring to reduce noise again for sensory sensitivities. The access to the building is controlled to avoid unnecessary interruptions. We have our very own sensory room that offers individuals a quite space where they can meet some of their sensory needs for example weighted blankets and heated water bed.
Aspect services are funded by the HSE but we also rely on fundraising. Aspect plans to continue to grow into other geographical areas and we are currently setting up service in Clonmel Co. Tipperary. We are committed to the continuous professional development of our staff with team members undertaking studying in UCC and University of Birmingham in Autism. Aspect shares the values of SOS which are:
Dignity is about respect and about honouring and valuing the individual. It involves communicating with and treating people as equals.
Diversity is about recognising the uniqueness of the individual and honouring the many dimensions of being a person.
Inclusion is about people being involved, having genuine connections and being equal. It involves people being part of their own local community and playing socially valued roles in contributing to that context.
Self-Determination is about individuals being able to make informed choices and being in control of their lives. It involves positive risk management, capacity building and responsive resources.
The staff in the Aspect Unit dedicate their lives to improving the quality of life for all the individuals who attend it on a daily basis by working with them in relation to enhancing their independent living skills and providing the various therapeutic services they require to help them control their anxieties and therefore function better in social and family settings.
The Aspect Unit rely largely on funding from various charities and fundraising events in order to provide these therapeutic and counselling services, so it gave us great satisfaction to be proud members of Team Aspect for Race Around Ireland 2017 that finished in first place in the four-person team category and raised in excess of 8000 euro for the aspect unit in the process.