Date: 03/07/2024

Four graduates from the MA in Autism Studies were invited by President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina Higgins to attend a prestigious garden party at Áras an Uachtaráin. Carmel Rainsford, Kayren Hayes, Noelle Foley Coughlan and Sarah Mooney had their work acknowledged at the event, which was themed "Celebrating Communities in all their Diversities."

 Noelle, one of the students, commented: 

"We were honoured to receive this invitation from the President and First Lady in recognition of our positive affirming autism research and an acknowledgement of our achievements as the first four across the entire Island of Ireland to graduate with an MA in Autism Studies. Each of us embarked on this journey with a personal motivation to contribute positively to the lives of autistic individuals in Ireland and globally. The garden party was truly memorable, and it was fantastic to receive a tour of the Áras and the splendid gardens. The President's speech was a very special moment and one we will remember forever. We believe our research not only exemplifies the potential within each of us to make a meaningful impact within the autistic community but also personifies the spirit of community and collaboration that defines our nation."  

If you would like to be one of the next group of students to develop research that has a meaningful impact for the autistic community, you can find out more about the MA here