Published 17 October 2023
Basseterre Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT UNIT LAUNCHES
SKN UNICEF AUTISM PROJECT
Basseterre, St. Kitts, Tuesday October 17, 2023: The Early Childhood Development Unit (ECDU) launched the St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN) UNICEF Autism Project 2023-2024 on Monday October 16, under the theme: “OUR CHILDREN OUR PRIORITY-Fostering Equitable Quality Education”.
Ms. Kimona Browne, director of the Early Childhood Development Unit, gave an overview of the project and outlined its rationale.
“This project, stems from a deep commitment, to making a difference, in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. It recognizes that every child, regardless of their circumstances, deserves a future filled with opportunities, and the chance to realize their dreams. Our primary objective of this project is to promote a holistic approach to raising awareness about child developmental delays, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), while fostering strong collaboration among the target beneficiaries. We aim to ensure that every child in this Federation, not only survives, but thrives. The heart of this endeavour lies with the children, and families we serve.”
In her address, Dr. Josephine Claxton-Richardson, Director of the Spectrum Services Centre highlighted the importance of servicing the community and providing the necessary help to autistic individuals.
“Service delivery to autistic individuals is essential not only for their well-being but also for building a more compassionate and inclusive society. It is an investment in human potential and a reflection of our commitment to supporting all members of our community. Providing high-quality service delivery to autistic individuals is of paramount importance. Thus, early intervention services can be especially vital for autistic children. Research has shown that early diagnosis and targeted interventions can lead to better outcomes in areas like communication, social skills, and behaviour. Early support can lay the foundation for a more positive life trajectory.”
Affirming the Ministry of Education and by extension the government’s commitment, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, elucidated “This government is committed to improving the learning experience of students from early childhood onward, and the leadership within the Ministry of Education continues to seek specific, tangible, relevant and impactful ways to ensure child-centered, meaningful education.
The SKN UNICEF Early Childhood Autism Project represents the first phase of a comprehensive effort designed to enhance the quality and effectiveness of Early Childhood.