Thursday 19 October 2017

National Pyjama Day: Thousands of children around Ireland to don sleepwear in aid of Autism Action

Keith Duffy patron of Irish Autism Action (IAA) launches National Pyjama Day
Keith Duffy patron of Irish Autism Action (IAA) launches National Pyjama Day
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

It may be snowing around the country but that didn’t stop thousands of schoolchildren parading their sleepwear into school this morning to celebrate National Pyjama Day.

The annual event, which calls for children to jump from bed into class in support of Irish Autism Action, raised a whopping €300,000 for the charity in 2015.

National Pajama Day: Dilara Dal, Ryan Egan, Elizabeth Frawley, Theresa Grant, Liam O'Leary, Anna Chen. Front: Aaliyah Doyle, Ellie Gilmore, Callum Harvey Tresson, Dora Andrasi, Lucie Earls Creighton
National Pajama Day: Dilara Dal, Ryan Egan, Elizabeth Frawley, Theresa Grant, Liam O'Leary, Anna Chen. Front: Aaliyah Doyle, Ellie Gilmore, Callum Harvey Tresson, Dora Andrasi, Lucie Earls Creighton

National Pyjama Day is now in its twelfth year and patron Keith Duffy revealed that the charity was a “worthy recipient” of the occasion as a means to raise vital funds.

Duffy has long been a supporter of the charity and he became involved when his teenage daughter Mia (16) was diagnosed with autism as a toddler.

Speaking last year, Duffy said: "Most of the country at this stage knows that my little girl has autism. [But] back when she was 1 or 2 things were very, very difficult.

"There weren't many services in the country. Everybody told me that early intervention was essential although I couldn't avail of any.

"Early diagnosis is obviously essential so you could put in place early intervention - none of this was available."

He has said that campaigning for autism awareness since Mia's diagnosis has made him a better person.

"My daughter has shown me a side of myself that I much more prefer than the person I was before I had her," he said.

Meanwhile, Dublin band Super Hyper Giant will take to the stage in Whelan’s tonight in their ‘jammies in support of the campaign.

The fundraiser has a personal connection to band member Jonathan Savino whose son Finn (3) has autism.

 “He will always have his challenges but he has come a long way,” he said.

To support Early Childhood Ireland's National Pyjama Day campaign Text PJDAY to 50300 to Donate €2 to Irish Autism Action.

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/earlychildhoodireland/

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