The Autism Centre in the British Virgin Islands is now serving more than 30 persons per week after rebuilding and resuming services.
Health Minister Carvin Malone made that announcement while making an address on Wednesday to mark the facility’s 7th anniversary of existence.
He said: “I am now happy to report that thanks to our partners and friends near and far and with the resilient hard-working staff and management, the Autism Centre was able to rebuild and restore services to now serving 33 clients on a weekly basis.”
The Autism Centre was among many of the buildings extensively damaged following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Since the rebuilding of the business, the minister said the centre’s staff has embarked on initiatives focused on building their capacity to provide enhanced services to persons in need.
These initiatives include the ‘Secret Agents Society’, which is a computer-based game aimed at helping children ages eight to 12 develop social skills; a cognitive intervention programme named ‘Equipping Minds’ that helps to develop the foundational cognitive skills necessary for learning, among other things.
The centre also uses an assessment and training tool named the ‘Interactive Metronome’ which improves timing in the brain for increased cognitive, communicative, sensory and motor performance.
Minister Malone said he views these initiatives as a step in the right direction for the territory as they continue to make strides in helping with autism.
“All of these [pieces of] training are critical as we remain committed to growing and adapting our services at the Autism Centre, the BVI Services and the Social Development Department to ensure that every single differently-abled child and adult are best equipped to live the most normal and dignifying lives,” Minister Malone added.
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