The Autism Centre is meeting its mandate of improving the lives of autistic members of the community, and Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton in an update issued last week noted that the Centre is making a difference.
According to Hon. Skelton since its 2012 opening, the staff continues to make significant achievements towards improving the quality of life, and increasing independence of those persons with autism. The Minister noted that the Centre currently serves 15 children and 5 adults.
It was also mentioned that since its opening the institution received tremendous support from Non-Governmental Organizations, businesses and the entire community.
Autism is a disorder that affects the normal development and functioning of the brain. Individuals with autism often have difficulty with communication, social interaction and responding appropriately to their surroundings. Without adequate diagnosis, education and awareness, this disorder poses another hurdle to the development of some of our children.
The Center was dedicated on 29 October, 2012 and is located upstairs of the Rainbow Children’s Home. It was designed to facilitate the learning needs of people specifically with autism and similar challenges.
The opening of the Centre signalled hope for the parents who were calling on government to do something as well as for educators who were asking for more skills to deal with autistic students, and for persons with autism who wanted to live productive lives.
The funding and implementation of the autism programme in the British Virgin Islands was made possible by the Government and Barbados donors Maria Holder Memorial Trust and Kingwood Trust.