WEDNESDAY APRIL 18 2018: Over 30 parents, teachers and caregivers met last Saturday to share techniques and advice for helping persons with Autism navigate the neurotypical world. The Parent and Autistic Support Workshop, hosted by the NGO Autism Spirit, was done in commemoration of Autism awareness month.
The workshop, the first of its kind, was held at the Theraplay Centre and was designed for parents to examine and test therapy toys, tools and equipment. The parents also learned how to modify items in the home environment to help with their day-to-day at home therapy.
The workshop also provided an opportunity for the participants to give and receive feedback from their peers on managing pubescent and young adults with Autism. Michelle Foreman and Tracy Hutchinson Wallace, co-Founders of Autism Spirit, also shared their experiences going through diagnosis, therapies and even insurance challenges with the group of excited parents. Other facilitators included Jeanne Sabga, former President of the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Therapists Association and Racquel Martinez.
Autism Spirit reached out the Digicel Foundation to support the workshop with a donation of $7,700. The initiative goes hand in hand with the support that Digicel Foundation gives toward interventions that advance the lives of persons with special needs and is similar to the Foundation’s in-school initiative - the Therapy Based Education Programme.
Autism Spirit is a parent and advocacy group based in Trinidad and Tobago. The members connected online in 2014, through shared concerns about the need for better support, services and accommodation for people on the Autism spectrum across all sectors. The members have a vibrant digital presence, with this being their first parent-to-parent sessions and one of the main activities in observance of Autism Awareness Month.