Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2015 Contents When is your next event?
The RBL Autism Awareness Walk which will take
place on April 25, at the Queen s Park Savannah. Our
first family day/bazaar on Saturday, May 23, from 1
pm to 5 pm. Our monthly parent support group meet-
ing on Saturday, May 30, at 2 pm--4.30 pm.
We are at present preparing for our Therapeutic
Summer camp for children and adults with ASD in
What is the biggest need/priority of the Autistic
Society and how can people, the public, help?
Any organisation s biggest need will be financial
funding. At the moment, we rely heavily of RBL Power
to make a Difference Programme. We would like to
get a government subvention. Corporate organisations
can donate by setting up Deeds of
Covenant as part of their corporate
social responsibility agenda (it
is an incentive to receive tax
breaks). Private people can
sponsor a child/adult for
therapies and camp.
I think it is also important
for members of our society
to start viewing people with
any disability in a different
We need to remove the stigma
associated with autism. Members
of the public can get to know a
family who has a child or adult with autism.
I also believe that people in authority who have a
child or grandchild with a disability should become
advocates and not hide their child. It means that
people and families who have a child with a disability
are still being stigmatised in T&T. I would encourage
people to visit Autism Place.
What other information about the ASTT would
you like to share with our readers...contact info,
social media, etc?
ASTT extends services to adults and children with
autism. We have adult recreational groups, social/play
groups for children, one-to-one sessions with parents
and child, functional life skills training. Weekly music
and art therapy sessions. A day therapy camp for chil-
dren and adults in summer vacation, sensory friendly
movie nights, parent social counselling to parents and
persons on the spectrum, monthly parent meetings
and trainings. People wishing to get more information
can contact the office 646-5506 or 228-5508, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. People can join our Facebook
page and connect with us there also.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or infor-
mation you would give to those who are living with
autism or people close to those with autism?
This is and still is my personal mantra "when they
are at their worst, you must always be at your best."
A few years ago my sister said to me "you know,
Amoy, we (meaning my family) all will help if something
were to happen" to my husband and I, promising to
help to take care of the boys, but they never had the
opportunity to take care of Kendell for 24 hours without
me being there and she wondered what it would be
like and if they would have been able to manage with
him. Over the years, I have always encouraged parents
to help their children learn necessary functional life
skills to be able to have some level of independence
so they are not a "burden" for siblings or caregivers
in the event they are not able to anymore.
I say this to my son all the time, that autism is just
a word used by the doctors to categorise people who
have certain difficulties in specific areas like the way
they communicate, or how they behave, or how they
socialise and make friends. I would say to him that
all kids have challenges, it s just that people with
autism the behaviours show up more. We let him
know every day how proud we are of him for being
such a good child. We love him, and having autism
does not change the way we feel about him or who
he is as a person.
April 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
It can be very stressful for any person to
walk this path alone and so many mothers
have been doing it for such a long time.
Joining support groups are not for mothers
only! Over the years, I have seen an increase
in fathers reaching out for support but I am
sure it will make a tremendous difference
if more fathers take an active role in sharing
the responsibilities in raising a child with
While the financial support is necessary,
I also feel many fathers try to bury their
emotions and may not know how to be
supportive or how important it is to share
the responsibilities of raising the child with
any type of disabilities. My husband recently
said in a TV interview that autism brings
families closer and it certainly did in my
family. Kendell s success came about with
both of us working together as a team to
give him the support he needs to face the
many challenges ahead of him. I could not
have done this alone! Let me rephrase that---
I could if I had to but I am certainly glad
I didn t.
How does the ASTT sustain its existence
and does it engage in fund-raisers?
Our main funder for the last seven years
has been Republic Bank s Power to Make
a Difference Programme. We have been
receiving Deeds of Covenants from some
companies, donations from individuals
and various groups. Proposal for funding
have been sent to relevant ministries (no
response yet). We sell T-shirts and pins
throughout the year. We will be having
our first family day/bazaar as a fund-raiser
on Saturday, May 23, so we are asking
people to donate the following items
towards our first event: food items (cans
and bottles), toys, plants, books which we
can use in our various booths.
If people wish to donate they can do so
directly to any RBL account no 340 005
Become an advocate, don't hide your child
From Page B6
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