ASC Courses

'ASC and the Family'


Jan - Feb 2017

Course Facilitators

Diarmuid Heffernan & Kirsten Hurley

- with additional session delivered by guest facilitator Jennifer Dennehy (Senior Occupational Therapist) from the Stepping Ahead Clinic.


mother carrying son.jpeg

"ASC's Family Workshop Course on Autism is fantastic. This experience was of huge benefit to me in so many ways; from having access to passionate and extremely knowledgeable experts in the area of Autism who offer incredibly realistic and practical advice and information, to gaining new insights into research being conducted and available programmes I wouldn't have encountered otherwise, to exploring and learning tools, understanding, information and perspectives in managing the family dynamic in a safe, open, interactive and confidential way, to meeting with others(the ASC Consultants and other attendees) who just get it, who get and share the unique joys and challenges of caring for a child with autism. I found this course of great support to me, and I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is involved in the care of an individual on the Autism spectrum."

- Sarah O'Sullivan


"Thanks Kirsten and Diarmuid for the workshop, I really found it a great help in some many ways and especially with a view to the future and what needs to be done now to prepare for that. There is a great tendency to get caught up in the day to day challenges with ASD but it is so important that we step back and develop that vision for the future. I'm even a convert to OT after last night's session!" 


Hilary, mother to a 9 year old boy with autism

Workshops and Presentations


'The Invisible Parts of the Spectrum'

Various Locations 

(Sep-Dec 2016)

"Kirsten has presented a number of times for SNA Group to SNA's and teachers. Her presentation evoked very positive feedback from the participants who described her insight into the experience of girls on the spectrum as "incredibly valuable" and feedback such as 'I would love to hear more from Kirsten to really understand my students'.

Her talk helped them think about the gender issues in autism that are often ignored or sidelined. Kirsten's presentation style is relaxed and comfortable and her presence in itself is a challenge to our perception and assumptions about autistic girls and how we understand and support them."

Ms Maria Dollard

 Director of Spectrum Training

'Supporting Students with ASD - A Workshop for Staff'

LKIT (Jan 2018)

DkIT (May 2016)

CIT (April 2015)

"Diarmuid and Kirsten provided an excellent and insightful workshop to staff members of DkIT in May 2016.  Attendees reported that it was most informative and enjoyable and were extremely impressed by the presenters. The event was a great success and we hope to have a return visit in the future."

Ms Ciara O’Shea (Disability Officer)

Dundalk Institute of Technology


'Asperger's Syndrome & Witness Interviews'

An Garda Síochana Training College, Templemore

(May 2016)


& Family Support Work


“I wish to thank you Diarmuid for all the help you have given me since you became my outreach support worker. With your help, I have been able to live independently, do my own banking, shopping, cooking and organize myself for train and bus services. I am still working on the tips you gave me to improve my interpersonal relationships both with my parents and others. I would not have achieved any of this without your dedicated support and understanding, I wish you every success in your new venture and will continue to implement your programme you designed for me.

Shortly before getting my diagnosis I became unemployed, so when I started meeting with Diarmuid I was in a deep rut, socially, physically and in my planning for what to do with my future. As a result of his intelligent, reasoned persuasion I have since completed a back-to-work course, started going to the gym and have started an IT course. I am now much more confident socially, academically, and physically and am looking to the future eagerly."

(name withheld)

"How fortunate your new clients will be to have you as their mentor [Diarmuid]. We will all miss you... as your support to our son and to us as parents was life changing. 

Prior to you being appointed as our son's outreach support worker... his future prospects looked bleak indeed. The dedicated work that you put into helping our son gain confidence with his move to independent living was enormous and life changing for all of us . 

There have been highs and lows but knowing that you were there for him was so reassuring. You never failed to respond and deal with our sons anxieties which at times were very challenging. 

In conclusion our son would not be where he is today without your dedicated, professional and genuine interest in him and his future well being."

(name withheld)