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US therapists hold clinic for children with Autism and Speech Language Pathology

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The week of October 29 to November 2 saw the 4th annual follow-up clinic for children with Autism and Speech Language Pathology.

Three visiting therapists from the USA namely Miriam Kerr, a Speech Language Pathologist (funded by the World Pediatric Project), Jill Hodge, Speech Pathologist and Amy Swaim, Behavioural Analyst/Speech Language Therapist (both self-funded), all enthusiastically volunteered their skills, time and caring to 94 children of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The clinic was facilitated and organized by Dr Bharati Datta, Medical Director of WPP; Dr Mishka Duncan-Adams, Pediatric Neurologist at Milton Cato Hospital; Kimberley Cambridge, Psychologist at Milton Cato Hospital; and Tessa Davy, Retired Nurse Educator.

The sessions were held at the Association for Persons with Disabilities building at New Montrose with the kind permission of The Soroptomist Club and Junior Bacchus.

Lunches for the team were generously provided by ECGC during the week.

This follow-up clinic highlighted the resiliency of children as they endeavour to navigate school and society without access to consistent speech and language therapy. It demonstrated the strength of many parents, as well as grandparents and guardians who have to step in to give the child a better life in the absence of their parents.

“We are pleased to have noted progress, even though limited, in the speech and behaviour of the children seen and this was a humbling reminder of our very meagre resources that make it almost impossible for us to properly assist these families.

Some gaps include physical and human resources, educational workshops on parenting, lack of awareness about Autism and its subsequent behaviours, the need for specialty teaching skills, as well as the need to simply care and respect each other no matter our differences, especially for the sake of our children. All of these contribute to poor continuity and consistency in the caring of these children,” a release from the organizers said.

“So on behalf of the children and their caregivers, it is with extensive gratitude that we extend our heartfelt thanks to all of those persons who continue to support our missions each year.”

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