Trinidad and Tobago is well known as a country of inclusion, where every individual has a place. As such, let us join the international community in celebrating the 7th annual World Autism Day.
According to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.
These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.
ASD is also associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
While autism is usually a life-long condition, all children and adults benefit from interventions, or therapies, that can reduce symptoms and increase skills and abilities.
The following “red flags” may indicate your child is at risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
Quote: The effects of ASDs are not restricted to any particular race, colour or class of people. In fact, from my own experiences with autism, I must emphasise the importance of early detection. With the right care, individuals affected by ASDs can lead a full and prosperous life. My government is determined to introduce sustainable and comprehensive policies and programmes to benefit persons with autism as well as other disabilities. The time for full inclusion is now; no disability of any kind should be allowed to bar a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago from that which our anthem boasts, an equal place in society.– Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar – World Autism Day 2014
The Autistic Society of Trinidad & Tobago cordially invites you to commemorate the 7th World Autism Awareness Day 2014. (See attached flyer)
Date: Wednesday 02nd April 2014
Time: 9:00a.m. – 11:00a.m.
Venue: Autism Place, LP#5 Ragoo Road, D’Abadie.
Guest Speaker: Mrs. Kari Dunn Buron, Autism Educational Specialist, Minnesota, USA.
R.S.V.P.: Autism Place – Telephone: 225-6808/ 646-5506. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: The Honourable Errol Mc Leod, acting Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, will be in attendance and deliver an address.