Children with Autism to Show off Talent at Concert

Photo: Dave Reid Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and Patron of the Autism Support Association, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, addresses a recent JIS Think Tank.

Story Highlights

  • Children with autism and other developmental disabilities will show off their talents in the performing arts at an Autism Awareness Month concert at Emancipation Park, New Kingston on May 6.
  • The event, to get under way at 4:00 pm, will culminate activities for Autism Awareness Month, which is being observed globally in April.
  • Professor Samms-Vaughan said that there are “some absolutely brilliant people on the autism spectrum, with many of them ending up in the information technology industry, as they are particularly good at systems and structures and can often see things that other people cannot”

Children with autism and other developmental disabilities will show off their talents in the performing arts at an Autism Awareness Month concert at Emancipation Park, New Kingston on May 6.

The event, to get under way at 4:00 pm, will culminate activities for Autism Awareness Month, which is being observed globally in April.

The concert was originally scheduled for April 22, but was postponed due to bad weather.

It will feature children playing musical instruments, such as the piano and the saxophone, as well as performances from the Promise Learning Centre Band.

Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and Patron of the Autism Support Association, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan said that “the concert is one of the things we do to expose persons and to let them know that persons on the autism spectrum contribute very meaningfully to our society”.

She noted that persons with autism “need to be better understood and better integrated into our community like all persons living with special needs”.

Professor Samms-Vaughan said that there are “some absolutely brilliant people on the autism spectrum, with many of them ending up in the information technology industry, as they are particularly good at systems and structures and can often see things that other people cannot”.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions, present from early childhood, that are characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and non-verbal communication.

It affects one in 68 children globally. Professor Samms-Vaughan said that one in every 42 boys and one in every 189 girls is affected with autism.

Other activities in observation of Autism Awareness Month included a dental clinic and a Surfing for Autism event, where children were given the opportunity to take surfing lessons with professional surfers.

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