Region Three’s Special Education Needs Unit shines light on realities of Autism

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The month of April is designated International Autism Awareness month. As part of its observance, each educational district planned programmes to observe and bring light to the reality that many children in Guyana are challenged with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Essequibo Islands hosted a forum at the Vreed-en-Hoop Primary School to shine a light of awareness on the reality that one in every 68 children is autistic in Guyana.
The public awareness programme represents a collaborative effort between the Special Education Needs Unit (SEN), the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) and the Department of Education in the Essequibo Islands.
Ms. Akeshia Benjamin, Education Officer of SEN, Essequibo Islands said that autism awareness is very important as it helps one to become aware of signs and symptoms of autism and teaches how to treat such persons, in order to avoid discrimination and mental illness.
“It is a category of disability. However, while it has been on the back burner for quite some time, efforts are in place to make it a front burner issue, as autistic children are important and should not be seen as less than any child. This is because children with special needs also deserve a chance to realise their true and full potential through the education sector.”
In addition to the Autism Awareness forum, other activities held included a Parent-Teachers Association Awareness and Staff Development session, with brochures and flyers distributed to the public.”
As is, the Ministry via each educational district has officers engaged in a process of assessing and identifying children with all other forms of disability including autism.
Autism is a diagnosis that describes significant social, communicative and behavioural challenges which appear in early childhood (usually before three-years-old). People with autism handle information in their brain differently from typical developing peers.

Article Categories:
Government Ministries · Issue 32 · Social Issues

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