Sunday, March 25, 2012

Niamh Cadogan

Autism Light #172 is Niamh Cadogan.

We so often focus on parents of those with autism that we may forget the special bond that exists with sibilings. Niamh Cadogan has a younger brother Stephen who has autism. Her relationship with her beloved brother inspired Niamh as she continued to lead an autism project during a serious illness.

Niamh Cadogan, from West Cork in Ireland, was born on June 22, 1994, and passed away on March 19, 2012 at the age of 17, from Leukemia. Niamh Cadogan is being named an Autism Light posthumously for the autism project she did to help children with autism obtain an iPod Touch with the Grace App on it. Niamh Cadogan will also be added to the Autism Light Memorial Roll today. The name "Niamh" is an Irish name that means "bright", or "radiant" and it's a fitting description for today's Autism Light.

Niamh with her friends Lisa and Liam
Niamh with her brother Stephen
Niamh Cadogan was the leader of a Young Social Innovators project called Amazing Grace: Improving the Lives of Children with Autism in Skibbereen. The 18 month project involved raising funds by recycling mobile phones in order to purchase an iPod Touch with the Grace App installed on it for children with autism. Every child in the autism unit programs at the St. Patrick's Boy's National School and at Rossa College became the beneficiaries of Niamh Cadogan's vision and dedication to serve.

Tributes were made to Niamh Cadogan from two prominent members of the autism community.
  • Lisa Domican, the developer of the Grace App, said, "She got the entire school behind her and made it happen. She appreciated and adored her brother, and realised that it made her a better person (Source)."
  • Kevin Whelen, the chief executive of Irish Autism Action said, "There are children with autism around the country who are now communicating with their parents thanks to Niamh (Source)."
The following are articles on the legacy of Niamh Cadogan
You can also read about Niamh Cadogan's project and her battle with Leukemia in an online copy of a previous edition of the Young Social Innovators Newsletter.

Social Media: The Amazing Grace project has a Facebook page too for further information on it.

We honor the life and memory of Niamh Cadogan and hope that her work will inspire other young people who have siblings with autism to change the world for autism. Because of their youth and generational bond, siblings have a unique opportunity to make a difference over the long term for autism. Certainly Niamh Cadogan's legacy won't be forgotten as dozens of students are communicating with their parents because of the gift of an iPod Touch with the Grace App on it.

If you enjoyed this post you may wish to read about the other Autism Lights with the label Siblings. These people share the special perspective in their story of having a sibling with autism.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photos: The photos in this post were used with the permission of Lisa Domican.

1 comment:

  1. While I am still so sad about Niamh, I just love reading about what a huge effect she has had on the world. I also love how happy she looks in that photo.
    Thank you for writing such a well researched piece about a little autism hero. xx