Letters to the Editor

Celebrate with Promise for Autism Month

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The month of April is being celebrated as Autism Month and the world pauses to build awareness to those living with autism. The recognition couldn't come at a more fitting time as the Promise Learning Centre (PLC), hailed as the first and only autism school in Jamaica, celebrates 25 years of existence.

Autism is a developmental disorder in which both ecological and genetic factors have been implicated. It is characterised by impairment in social skills, limitations in the use of interactive language and other forms of communication with repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behaviour.

Autism is now new to Jamaica, but there are some ways to go in public education and more government assistance to the players involved in helping children with special needs. Jamaica has been making great strides in the field of special needs and we have now reached the stage that we are now recognising the individual before the disability. However, a lack of funding has been a major factor in caring for and educating those with special needs. Mention must be made of Opposition Senator Dr Floyd Morris, who has always championed the cause for increased funding, recognition, and protection for individuals with disabilities.

Now, despite the challenges, PLC boasts having its students participating and excelling in Special Olympics, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Festival, Grade Four Literacy Test, Grade Six Achievement Tests, and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations.

This Autism Month and for its anniversary, I salute the management and staff of PLC for giving a quarter of a century of dedication to the special bundle of joys that God has blessed us with.

Hezekan Bolton

h_e_z_e@hotmail.com

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