Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, today (Thursday 23rd February 2017), opened Botanic Horizons, a new service for people with autism, in the heart of Dublin’s Northside. Botanic Horizons is a service run by Autism Initiatives (ASDI). It is situated on Botanic Avenue,

near the picturesque Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. The building is an old HSE building which has been renovated and updated into a very modern centre for service users. Seven staff are employed at Botanic Horizons and the service provides day services and community outreach support for adults.

Autism Initiatives Ireland (Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiatives ASDI) offer person centred services which tailor activities to the interests and support needs of service users. They have operated in the UK since the 1970’s and in Ireland since 2005.

Speaking about the newly renovated building Minister McGrath said “The premises here have been totally remodelled to meet the needs of the service users. As such, there is a sensory room, a quiet room, a music room, a computer room, an activity room which will allow users to have individual programmes designed around their interests and goals in areas such as Art, Cookery, Citizenship and Different Cultures.”

Minister McGrath said “This is an exciting time for the service users who will be using this state of the art hub, some of whom are transitioning from school to adult day services. I am conscious also that the parents of these young adults are also, themselves, in a stage of transition as their young adult progresses to the next stage in their life.”

The Minister also said “The needs and priorities of most people with disabilities can and should be met at the community level. Therefore I wholeheartedly welcome the combination of day

services and community outreach support provided by Botanic Horizons here in Glasnevin.”

The Minister went on to say “I am pleased to note that service users can also engage in volunteer work. Volunteers are one of the most valuable resources a community can have. The generosity of spirit of people who work together willingly for the betterment of their community and themselves is priceless.”