1,000 Back to School Kits for Children with Autism; AsIAm & Aviva

1,000 Back-to-school kits to be given to children with autism.

Aviva Ireland has announced an exciting new giveaway for children with autism. The insurance company has partnered with Ireland’s national autism charity & advocacy organisation, AsIAm, to give away 1,000 back-to-school packs.

The packs are specially designed to help stimulate the children and help with their sensory needs. Parents have been homeschooling their children since March when the lockdown closed schools.

The initiative will help children transition back into the classroom. Along with the packs, students will have access to weekly online content aimed to help them adjust and develop the skills they need to return to school. The topics covered in the series include:

  • Week 1: Gross Motor Skills (My Active Summer) & Fine Motor Skills (My Creative Summer)
  • Week 2: Self-Regulation (My Calm Space)
  • Week 3: Social Skills (My Social Summer)
  • Week 4: Starting School!

The online information will also provide information and tools to assist parents. One in 50 people in Ireland are diagnosed with autism. One in 20 people has sensory issues such as ADHD, dyspraxia and SPD.

The impact the pandemic has had on children with autism hits home for Leinster Rugby Head Coach, Leo Cullen. Leo is an ambassador for AsIAm and had this to say about his experience:

‘It has been an extremely disruptive year for everyone and I see first-hand with my own children how this change can have such an impact. The back-to-school packs and online content series will be a huge support in preparing autistic children for the return to school. We at Leinster talk all the time about ‘setting the players up to succeed’ and it’s crucial we take that same message for parents and their children as they look to return to the classroom. It’s the small steps and plans we put in place which can make such a huge difference.’

The packs will be delivered across the country. Two of Aviva’s regional charity partners, Temple Street Children’s hospital in Dublin and Shine Centre for Autism in Cork, will also be receiving the packs.

Back in January, Aviva launched their sensory hub to help those with autism and to promote diversity and inclusion. Head of Communications, CSR & Sponsorship for the company, Brian O’Neill, spoke about Aviva’s drive to support this cause:

‘We at Aviva strongly believe in promoting diversity and inclusion and are thrilled to be partnering with AsIAm to help provide further support for autistic people and those with sensory needs all across the country. It has been an extremely difficult year, especially for those families who have not been getting the usual support they need. By releasing our online content series throughout August, it will hopefully enable everyone to have free access to specially designed resources to help support autistic children and their families with their transition back into school.’

Each pack will content four separate kits specially chosen by an occupational therapist. The kits are designed to correspond with different core development skills:

  • My activity pack
  • My calm pack
  • My social pack
  • My construction pack

And there are some fun items in each back-to-school pack that will make be sure to entertain both child and parent alike. Items include:

  • Playdoh
  • Jumbo tennis set
  • Jenga
  • Hula hoop
  • Skipping rope
  • Chalk
  • Connect 4
  • Dominoes
  • Cards

Pic: Photocall and editorial: Rollercoaster

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