THE St Lucia Autism Resource Centre (ARC)/ School of Autism and Special Needs Inc. is a non-profit organisation founded in 2010 geared towards improving the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism is a complex developmental disability which affects the functioning of the brain and covers a range of levels and abilities, hence: the spectrum. The disorder is usually manifested in difficulties with social interaction and communication skills.
The Autism Research Centre (ARC) in its mission to create opportunities for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder is focused on: creating awareness of autism in St Lucia, supporting families and providing guidance to them in making decisions in relations to the welfare of their child. Moreover, emphasis is placed on the education of students on the spectrum, evident in the daily activities executed at the centre. Students are active participants in academic math and English activities as well as self-help skills such as cooking amongst others. The activities undertaken at the centre are modified with a strong emphasis on teaching students to be as independent as possible.
The ARC strives to make a difference for the better through the integration of students into the community and affording them an opportunity to lead as close a life to ‘normal ‘ as possible, a goal that is attainable through the integral support of all concerned. On this occasion, we take the opportunity to recognize the Gros Islet Rotary Club for their generous donation of EC 3000 towards the purchasing of materials for the centre. It is through the support of organisations such as the Rotary Club of Gros Islet that we at the centre can continue to provide the best quality service to the students entrusted in our care.
It is fervently hoped that the unique needs of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder be given more serious attention and that more persons will in the near future, will extend a helping hand in support or to show solidarity to our cause. We need to bear in mind that not all of us are born with the same capabilities to deal with the challenges of life and we must, as our ‘brother’s keeper’ in this civilized society lend a helping hand to those among us who are in need of support.