Welcome to LOFFA
Laois Offaly Families for Autism is a local support group by parents for parents and families of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
We actively campaign to raise awareness of autism in our area and seek health, educational and support services that are appropriate to meet the needs of our children and adults with Autism.
Our group provides subsidised access to a private Speech & Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Art Therapist for those families who are forced, through lack of services from the HSE to obtain private therapies for their children.
In addition, we also run Junior Play dates, 10 Pin Bowling sessions and Art & Drama Groups for our children and their siblings to give them the opportunity to meet and socialise with other children like themselves.
We currently run a bi-monthly Autism Friendly Cinema Club Odeon Cinema in Portlaoise.
Our group comes under the umbrella of the Irish Autism Action (IAA), we have been in existence since 2001 and currently support over 250 families but our membership in the Laois and Offaly areas continues to rise.
LOFFA is a member group of Irish Autism Action (IAA). As a member group LOFFA pay a yearly subscription fee to IAA of €250 which allows us as a member group to operate under the charity number provided by IAA and to be listed on their website. LOFFA are otherwise entirely independent of IAA and are currently waiting to be allocated our own charity number by the charity regulator. LOFFA receive no funding or services from IAA. None of the monies raised by IAA in Laois/Offaly go to LOFFA.
Members of LOFFA may also subscribe to be individual members of IAA and as individual members of IAA may have raised funds on IAAs behalf. LOFFA do not have a representative on the IAA board of directors but individual IAA members may serve on their board.
LOFFA receive no grant aid from any Government bodies or other organisations. We raise our own funds through the hard work and dedication of our committee members, member families and supporters.
LOFFA committee members are all volunteers and parents of children with ASD. They receive no payments or expenses for the time and effort they give. LOFFA have no premises, no staff and no overheads apart from the running of our phone lines and the cost of meeting rooms. All monies raised and donations to LOFFA go directly to the services provided to families of children with ASD in Laois and Offaly.
Services provided include monthly meetings for members, play dates for children, subsidising of speech & language therapy, occupational therapy, play therapy and counselling services and campaigning on our families behalf on issues affecting them.
In 2015 LOFFA subsidised 670 therapy sessions at a cost of €27,352.
Membership of LOFFA costs €25 per year and all paid members have equal access to the subsidised therapy services available for their child with ASD. In order to provide these vital services LOFFA must raise a minimum of €25k per year.
We have been very fortunate to have been able to do what we do due to the generosity of the public in Laois/Offaly who have always supported us and we hope will continue to do so.
If anyone requires any further information on how LOFFA is financed we would be more than happy to provide any information requested. We have no hesitation in opening our financial accounts to be viewed by arrangement.
LOFFA 2011 Report on Profile of Members Needs & Service Provision
LOFFA 2013 Report on Service Provision
The Current State of HSE Autism Services in Laois/Offaly