Over 100 parents of children with special needs benefitted from learning and development techniques at the second staging of the Special Needs Parenting Seminar. Geared at empowering parents with practical applications of therapeutic techniques, the seminar was organised by the Digicel Foundation in partnership with Therapy Plus and the Jamaica Autism Support Association (JASA). “This is an excellent opportunity to get parents to identify certain behavioural traits at the early stages and understand what they mean so that they can better care for and help their children to reach their full potential,” said Dr. Angela Mann, Florida-based psychologist and guest speaker at the seminar held on Friday, June 5 th at Therapy Hub. Participants benefited from a wide range of interactive sessions on behaviour therapy, facilitating language and communication, promoting independence in daily living, self-care and wellness for parents of children with special needs and supporting siblings of children with special needs. “There are just not enough events or programmes like these to provide the support and tools that we need as parents,” said Carlene Fletcher, mother of a 7 year-old autistic son. “I learnt so much today and I hope that there’ll be more events like these for the parents!” "Parents play a critical role in ensuring that their special needs children live a normal life,” said Judine Hunter, Special Needs programme manager at the Digicel Foundation. “This is one of our main goals at the Foundation, so we are always happy to facilitate the continued training and development of all our special needs partners. We are elated to once again partner with JASA for this training seminar.” The Digicel Foundation is committed to providing first class resources for members of the special needs community. According to Hunter, this is done through creating environments conducive to the learning and development of children with challenges and equipping caregivers with the necessary skills. The Digicel Foundation has invested more than $100 million in implementing the Centres of Excellence programme in six schools which strengthens the capacity of special needs students in Jamaica through infrastructure improvement, the provision of equipment and material, and the training of teachers, parents and caregivers.