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(Ireland) Cork autism club grows from 22 kids to over 400 in 5 yrs; 280 on wait list

Sept 1, 2020, Eco Live (Cork): Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism offers extra support to families https://www.echolive.ie/corklives/Rainbow-Club-Cork-Centre-for-Autism-offers-extra-support-to-families-0d5ea3d4-2b33-4bd9-9d8d-cc5950cc5a0d-ds This summer marked the fifth anniversary of The Rainbow Club, now used by more than 400 children. Although they had to close due to Covid earlier this year, they have re-opened and are planning on expanding services this September, writes IRENE HALPIN ... THE Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism opened its doors in June, 2015. Its aim is to help and support children, teenagers, young adults and their families living with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The club was founded by Karen and Jon O’Mahony, whose sons, Sean and Stephen, have ASD. Karen and Jon, along with many families in Cork, struggled with the lack of resources in Ireland for children with autism, particularly early intervention…. Support for parents whose children were diagnosed with ASD was limited. The Rainbow Club was set up to help children with ASD make friends and acquire life skills in a supportive and understanding environment. The growth of Rainbow Club since its establishment in 2015 has been remarkable. Twenty-two children attended when it first opened its doors. Now, more than 400 children attend the club, located in Mahon, and 280 are on a waiting list to attend. Children and families have access to a speech therapist, play therapist, art therapist and occupational therapist. Training courses are also run to help parents and siblings of children with ASD. Sadly, The Rainbow Club had to close its doors during the Covid-9 lockdown. Karen said: “When we were told we had to close, we were devastated.”… The Rainbow Club reopened in July under a phased plan. Sanitise Ireland visited on numerous occasions to sanitise the club, therapy rooms, café and every surface in the club to ensure the highest safety and hygiene standards were adhered to…. The children of Rainbow Club were delighted to return to their safe and welcoming place of play and learning….