Aoibheann Barnes, Parenting Support Social Worker, MSW

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Aoibheann Barnes, Parenting Support Social Worker, MSW
Practitioner identifies as: Autistic
Pronouns: she/her

I am a Mental Health Social Worker parenting Autistic children.

I know that parents want the best for their children. To know what is best for our Autistic children can sometimes be difficult, particularly when our children are distressed, scared, or having a hard time. This can sometimes be made more difficult when the people around us have strong opinions on how we should or should not parent. We often feel confused and sometimes inadequate for the challenges. We cannot parent effectively when we are unsupported and unsure of ourselves.

My role is to give you the support and information you need to parent your child confidently and help your family flourish.
I will come to your home and visit your family. Together we will identify your family’s needs and draw up a support plan. We will identify the tools that will help your Autistic child/ children thrive, to help them reach their potential whilst strengthening your family unit.

Depending on your needs, the plan may include helping you and your family to understand what autism *actually* is, to accept your child’s neurology and get on with life! We do this by working on:
– understanding the neurodiversity paradigm,
– understanding your child’s behaviours,
– understanding non verbal communication, asynchronous development,
– understanding sensory needs and co-regulation,
– understanding and accommodating safe foods
– understanding how to best advocate for your child’s needs eg within schools, how to access and navigate appropriate supports for your child
– how to explain autism to your child and family (siblings, grandparents etc) and other support needs arising.

I have a Master of Science (Social Administration and Policy) and a Master of Social Work. I have 20+ years experience supporting parents and families as part of my work with HSE, Tusla and in the voluntary sector. I work holistically with families, taking a neuro-affirming, person centred, strengths focused approach. I am CORU registered. I am a professional member of Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) and Ausome Training.

I initially meet parents for a free 20-30 minute consultation via zoom, just email me at and I will get back to you as soon as I can (typically within 24 hours).
Following initial consultation, if we agree we are a good fit to work together I will visit you and your family in your home. Any subsequent consultations will be arranged to best suit your individual needs.

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