Aspire, The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland, was established by a small group of parents in 1995 to provide support for individuals who have Asperger Syndrome and their families, as well as to encourage and undertake research into the condition.
The mission of Aspire is to assist people with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism to lead full and independent lives.
The Association undertakes and supports research into the condition and works to raise awareness of Asperger Syndrome among parents, professionals, and the general public.
Changes and Developments
Since its foundation in 1995, Aspire has grown significantly to meet the changing needs of our stakeholders. 6 years ago Aspire services consisted of our residential unit, helpline and the Drama in Education Programme. Increased diagnosis both of children and adults has greatly changed the need profile of people with Asperger Syndrome and their families. In 2005 we had 37 students enrolled in the Drama in Education Programme. The majority of these students are now in 3rd level education and the overwhelming concern of their families is their ability to secure and keep a job. As we have increased our capacity to support people with Asperger Syndrome we are coming into contact with people who have been diagnosed as adults. A recent survey conducted by Aspire revealed that, although most respondents had 3rd level education, only 5% were employed. There is a growing recognition that the effects of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder are lifelong and that support needs to be available to people of all ages. Due to these factors, Aspire is now committed to providing ‘life span’ support to people who have AS and their families.