Padraig O’Hora, speaker, John Page, speaker, Bernadette Frain and Deirdre Fahey from SWMDC, Austin Vaughan, county librarian, David McIntyre, inventor of Cubbie, Jim O’Connor, librarian, Emer Donoghue, librarian, Damian Cunniffe, with (at front) Amanda McGuinness, speaker, and cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Councillor Michael Smyth, at the launch of the Cubbie at the Understanding Autism evening at Castlebar Library. Photo: Alison Laredo

Understanding Autism and launch of Cubbie sensory hub at Castlebar Library

TO celebrate #AutismAcceptanceMonth, Castlebar library held a talk on Understanding Autism and officially launched their sensory Cubbie.

Cathaoirleach Councillor Michael Smyth was on hand to formally launch the Cubbie, which has been in operation in Castlebar Library for the past number of months.

The Cubbie was first imagined by David McIntyre, who was present on the night to speak to parents and professionals. It is a safe space which pre-empts sensory overload and allows the child or adult time to regulate.

Speakers Amanda McGuinness and Padraig O'Hora addressed the huge crowd on the topic of Understanding Autism.

Padraig O’Hora is a father, partner, inclusion advocate, mental health and community worker and a 'so-called athlete'. (That is his modest description - most of you will recognise him as a stalwart of the Mayo senior football team).

Amanda McGuinness, BA, LLB, is an autistic self-advocate, and parent to three autistic sons. She is an autism consultant, visual supports graphic designer and a board member of AsIAM, Ireland’s national autism charity.

John Page, Castlebar Autism Friendly Town, also spoke on the simple steps that a local business can take in order to make Castlebar more inclusive.

The Cubbie is available free of charge at Castlebar library during opening hours.