ACE Launch – “Living with Asperger syndrome and autism in Ireland” by Dr Stuart Neilson and Diarmuid Heffernan

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Adult Continuing Education (ACE) University College Cork is pleased to announce that Kathleen Lynch T.D., Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, will officially launch the new book “Living with Asperger syndrome and autism in Ireland” by Dr Stuart Neilson and Diarmuid Heffernan at 4.30 pm on Monday 25th November 2013 in the Thomas Davidson room, The Central Library, 57-61 Grand Parade, Cork.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase on the day. Full details are available at and the book can be purchased from Amazon at

Living with Asperger syndrome and autism in Ireland by Stuart Neilson and Diarmuid Heffernan

This book is for people with autism spectrum disorder, from adolescence to adulthood, and for people who wish to understand the experience of living with autism in Ireland. The term ‘autistic’ in this book refers to all people with autism, whether with Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism or any other position on the spectrum. Within the book we use the term as little as possible, just as humans exploring the moon or the ocean depths would not discuss the ‘problem’ of being human in those environments.

Why specifically “in Ireland”? Because this book is about life, not about autism, and we want to refer to the services, bureaucracy, social settings and other influences that create problems in everybody’s life. A lot of this is very specific to the country we live in and the services that we have to deal with.

We also try to gather, in one place, a comprehensive reference to relevant organisations, charities, services and resources related to autism in Ireland. This includes a broad selection of books, websites and other places where people might seek more information, and refer to these where relevant in the main text. We have included our own reviews of fictional accounts of characters on the autism spectrum in film, television and books. Some characters might be used to open up conversations between friends, partners and family members.

This book fills a niche not currently served in that it provides practical advice for people on the autism spectrum in an Irish context.

The authors

Dr Stuart Neilson was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2009 at the age of 45, after many years of ineffective psychiatric treatment. He has been teaching and researching at third level since 1987. He lectured in statistics at BrunelUniversity for eight years, where he was also director of medical information systems in the Centre for the Study of Health, Sickness and Disablement. He has also lectured in medical statistics, has been involved in a variety of research projects and published extensively in international neurological journals. He has co-authored three books on multiple sclerosis and motor neuron disease. His first degree is in computer science and he has a doctorate in mathematical modelling of inherent susceptibility to fatal disease.

Diarmuid Heffernan has worked for six years supporting adults on the autistic spectrum. He has published articles about autism in peer-reviewed journals. He has considerable experience in a variety of social care fields including supporting adults with intellectual disabilities, homeless adults and teaching adolescents in a Youth Encounter Project. He has also attained a Diploma in Community Development, a Degree in Social Science Youth and Community, a Master’s Degree in Social Policy and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.



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