05 April 2019

Children with autism are not less, they are somebody!

In that photo, I am proud of my son Kyle and where we are. We made it to 17! That was on his birthday on March 17. I want to show off to the world that he has  autism  but he’s also a person – and he’s mine! Kyle was born in 2002, and four years later another autism parent and I started a support group to help other parents, which became the…, I needed help as a parent, so now I help others, We are in a better place now. There was a time when he was so busy you couldn’t take your eyes off him. I told myself that my goal was that by the age of 10 I would be able to sit and relax, not having to keep an eye on him 24/7. Now we have surpassed that and he’s somewhat independent. If something is wrong he will come and tell me and he’s…, Facing challenges and making progress together, For parents of children with autism the first challenge is the acceptance of a diagnosis because it can take a while for parents to accept, if they ever accept; and the second is access to services. When Kyle was diagnosed there was a lack of availability of therapists. There are more now, but not in the public sector, and most services are in…, Set and achieve small goals as a family, Our children are individuals with differences but they are not ‘less’ and all we want as parents is for acceptance both of our children and ourselves, and to have a little understanding. Having been on this journey I always advise parents that this is not the end of the world. You have to set small goals. You teach your child to do things. Work…
14 December 2018

Jamaica’s first inclusive infant school unites children and families

Parents of children with disabilities reassured, The moment I walked into Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Infant Academy, I became fascinated by the way children of varying abilities were interacting with each other. There was no separation and the children were not treated differently – just happily interacting with each other. They each exuded so much energy!  My chat with parents was enlightening…, A loving learning environment for all children, Another mother expressed how the environment and equipment has made a remarkable difference for her child. She lovingly expressed how her child is learning and tries to teach her what she has learned at school.  Next, I spoke to one of several fathers. This dad explained that he chose to send his non-disabled daughter to the academy because he…, Super dad playing an active role, This father had taken it upon himself to ask, ‘What if my child had a disability, how would people treat my child?’ And so, he treats them the way he would want his child to be treated, and he passes this on to his daughter, who is this friendly ball of energy. We need to tell our children from an early age how to love each other, regardless of…, What's UNICEF doing?, Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Infant Academy is a model mixed ability infant school and screening site, made possible by the Rockhouse Foundation with support from UNICEF Jamaica. UNICEF provided adaptive teaching and learning material for the school. In  partnership with the Digicel Foundation and the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (…