Friday, November 29, 2013

Susan Dunne

Autism Light #322 is Susan Dunne.

Susan Dunne was an autism mother and autism advocate who lived in Lixnaw in North Kerry, Ireland. Susan Dunne was the mother of 3 and her adult son Patrick has autism. Susan was known in the autism community for being the chairwoman of the Kerry Branch of Irish Autism Action (Autism Ireland). Susan Dunne was found tragically murdered in her home on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, and her autistic son Patrick has been charged with his mother's murder (The Irish Times, Nov. 29, 2013). Susan Dunne is an Autism Light for her devotion as an autism mother and for her tireless work for Autism in her community in Ireland. Susan Dunne will be placed on the Autism Light Memorial Roll today.

Mother: Susan Dunne was involved in autism advocacy in her community but she was first and foremost the carer for her autistic son Patrick.
Autism Ireland: Susan Dunne became the chairperson of the Kerry Chapter of Irish Autism Action in 2009. She provided leadership and passion for the work of the Kerry Autism group. "As well as organizing and chairing Kerry Autism Action's monthly support group meetings and regular coffee mornings, Susan organised autism conferences, information stands and workshops, fundraisers and fun events for all families in Kerry that have a child with autism, even setting up Kerry's first sensory friendly cinema club (Independent, Man Charged Over Susan Dunne's Murder, 11/28/2013)."

Domnick Walsh a spokesperson for Kerry Autism Action paid this tribute to Susan Dunne:
Susan was a kind, caring, selfless lady and an inspiration to all and made a lasting impression on everyone she came in contact with. In addition to her tremendous voluntary work with Kerry Autism Action, Susan also volunteered with other charities for special needs. She was an invaluable source of guidance, support and encouragement to many special needs families. Susan was always willing to help or lend a listening ear when needed. She dedicated her life to helping others and in doing so touched the lives of so many people (Independent, Man Charged Over Susan Dunne's Murder, 11/28/2013.
Susan Dunne had planned to visit a parent whose child had been diagnosed with autism on the night of November 27, 2013, but she was unable to keep that appointment because of the tragedy (Irish Examiner, Tributes to Selfless Lady and Relentless Autism Activist Found Dead in Her Home, 11/29/2013).

There is no way to make sense of Susan Dunne's untimely departure. It is hoped that Susan Dunne's life and legacy will encourage others to become advocates for autism in Ireland and around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan Dunne's family and community in this time of great loss.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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