Brief report on Autistic Society’s AGM 16th November 2013

Photo shows the new executive for the period 2014-2015 including 4 floor members.

Exec 2014-2015

From left to right

Eric Roberts, RoseAnna Trestrail (Treasurer), Frederick Felix, Gina Mohammed (Vice President),Halena Kong Ting (Secretary),Denanath Dalipram, Teresina Sieunarine (President),Catherine Simonet (partly hidden) and Sarah Soo Hon (PRO)

Seven (7) members of the executive are parents of children on the autism spectrum.

On Saturday 16th November 2013, The Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago held its Annual General meeting. The agenda for the meeting included the general elections for the new executive for 2014-2015; and a detailed presentation of the work carried out and the audited accounts for the period November 2012 – October 2013. Guest Speaker, Dr. Anderson Morris, representative of the Honourable Minister of Health delivered the feature address. Family members attended the meeting from various places in Trinidad and they voiced their concerns to Dr. Morris especially about the lack of facilities and affordable services including the lack of therapists available to their children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Achievements for the period were highlighted by outgoing Secretary Saira Joseph–La Foucade.

Some activities included the following:-

During week days and Saturdays children and adults are involved in a range of activities to assist with their individual development. Social events are also arranged for families to interact with each other.

In April 2013 the Society hosted a very successful Autism Awareness Month in Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with Republic Bank, which included a walk around the Queens Park Savannah; the art work of “a puzzle man” designed by member Kendell Boodoo was used on the T shirts. Designs were chosen during art sessions conducted at Autism Place by Ms. Sarah Soo Hon, art therapist.

During the month various media helped increase the awareness of autism.

Numerous workshops on different aspects of autism were carried out during the year for parents, and other interested persons, including a series on “creating economic opportunities for persons with autism” with the financial assistance of the European Development Fund. The curriculum was developed by the General Manager, Ms. Nichol Alves, and workshops were held in Tobago, San Fernando and Central Trinidad.

Two week- long day camps were held in August under the direction of Mrs. Gina Mohammed and Mrs. Amoy Boodoo.

During the year, with funding from RBL’s ‘Power to Make a Difference Programme’ autism specialists were invited to conduct training and improve the standard of delivery of services to persons with autism at the Autistic Society.

A paper “A Community action plan to enhance the quality of life of persons with autism in Trinidad and Tobago,” was prepared and presented by President T. Sieunarine at Hilton Hotel at the 1st Biennial Community Development partnership conference 17-19 July.

On 5th November 2013, the Autistic Society received an award as “Service provider of the year” (The first time an NGO has been given this award)-from The Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI)

The Society thanked to all volunteers and donors throughout the year who continue to support their efforts.

The mission of the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago is to work together with families to help all individuals with autism spectrum disorders to achieve their fullest potential through education, training and advocacy for affordable and appropriate quality services.

For further information the society can be reached at their office in D’Abadie 868-225-6808/868-646-5506. Email

Submitted by Halena Kong Ting (Secretary)

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