Left to Right – Mrs. Teresina Sieunarine, President of ASTT, Mrs. Valdez seated and Dr. Natalie Dick, representative from the North Central Regional Health Authority, Ministry of Health, and advocate for persons with disabilities.

The author, Mrs. Valdez with some families of the Autistic Society.

Representative of the Hindu faith speaking while representatives of the Christian and Muslim faith are seated at the head table with Mrs. Valdez.

On Friday 17th February, Mrs. Joy Valdez, a retired teacher and volunteer at the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT), launched her latest publication, We Live and Love Too- Meet Some Persons with Autism. Her work features a collection of personal stories told from the perspective of people with autism and their families. As the coordinator of a support group for parents who have adult children with autism, Mrs. Valdez embarked on interviewing, compiling and writing anecdotes and poetry, which relate intimate experiences of the people she met.

Her book launch was attended by representatives from the Ministries of Health and Community Development, the North Central Regional Health Authority, LIFE Centre, Soroptimist International of San Fernando, Arima Santa Rosa Lions Club, Parenting TT, UK Women’s Club, Airport Authority, and Dr. I. Cambridge of the University of the West Indies, Disability Studies Unit, in addition to ASTT’s families and volunteers.
One of the sponsors of the book, Dr. Robin Maraj of the School of Business & Computer Studies expressed his best wishes.

ASTT also celebrated the opening of a new extension at Autism Place. Built on land donated by the Trestrail family, Autism Place functions as the headquarters of ASTT and is utilized daily to provide services to people with autism and their families. The extension was blessed during an inter-faith ceremony by representatives of the Muslim, Hindu and Christian faiths held in conjunction with the book launch.

We Live and Love Too- Meet Some Persons with Autism is available at Autism Place in D’Abadie for a donation of $60. Proceeds go toward ASTT. Call 646-5506/225-6808 or email autismtt@gmail.com for further information.

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