The POCA Perspective: Milo’s story Ep.1 P.O.C.A (Parents of Older Children with Autism) was formed in the summer of 2012, after founder Myra Canning sought to engage her son Eoin, then aged 12 with other young people with the condition. ‘’I went from having maybe 2 friends. Now I have at least 15-20 friends who I speak with regularly… they’ve [POCA] really improved my confidence and I’m now more outgoing as I was very introverted before’’ Myra explains: “I hadn’t met anyone who faced the issues I did, such as the need for a social outlet for older children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum disorders). I hosted a coffee morning thinking I could organise a few activities for the children throughout the summer. I thought perhaps four or five parents would attend, I was shocked when 25 families turned up. From then I knew there was a desire for this and it grew from that.” 7 years later, we spoke with Milo who is a 21 year old University Student. He tells us how much POCA has helped him over the years and what the organisation means to him. In our interview he states: ‘’I went from having maybe 2 friends. Now I have at least 15-20 friends who I speak with regularly… they’ve [POCA] really improved my confidence and I’m now more outgoing as I was very introverted before’’ Headliners have been working with POCA for a number of years, and Milo’s success story is one of just many. Stay tuned for more POCA success stories. The film was produced by young people involved in the Headliners project in Derry/Londonderry, including Keiran, Milo, Kalon, Kellie, Darren, John and Eoghan. This film was made possible through funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. More to follow.