Information Officer I
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Vornicia's House of Commerce, Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
E-mail Address: FRandall@gov.vg
The Virgin Islands Autism Centre recently concluded its transitional summer camp programme for children with the disorder and other types of developmental disabilities.
Director for the Autism Centre Miss Crystal Estridge said the autism transition camp was a small scaled programme designed to introduce the children who are assigned to Therapeutic Kindergarten classroom, to a similar routine for ease of transitioning for September 2023.
Miss Estridge said, “The duration of the camp was from July 4 to 28. This Transition camp was structured like a school day, with inclusions of morning snack, afternoon snack, lunch and rest time which will follow through into the Therapeutic Kindergarten classroom.”
Other elements of the programme included sensory and tactile activities as well as exposure to the use of the outdoors to help with generalisation, exposure and pet therapy.
Miss Estridge said the centre is striving to put different mechanisms in place for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities to develop their cognitive and motor skills during the early intervention stage.
“When they go on to school we want them to have the necessary abilities to now integrate into the formal school system. We also have a partnership with the Ministry of Education. The aim is to work together to help prepare them and develop that readiness for school,” the Director said.
Miss Estridge explained that the centre typically has camps for clients during the holiday seasons but this specific one focused on clients transitioning. She added that the camp this year has largely been successful in assisting the children and she hopes it can expand next year in the amount of activities done.
“In the future, we would probably want it to be larger in the scale of the areas that we tackle and the diversity of the activities. For this specific camp, we had one excursion to the Botanic Gardens and next year we would like to do more trips so that they could have exposure to a wider range of activities,” Miss Estridge said.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to improving the health and social well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands.