Autism Spectrum Disorders talk held at Santa Marta Centre

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Autism Spectrum Disorders talk held at Santa Marta CentreThe Santa Marta Day Centre in Victoria recently hosted a conference on ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders An Introduction,’ organised by the Gozo Federation for the Disabled (FGhPD), which has its base at the Day Centre.

In the opening speech of the conference, the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, welcomed the initiative of FGhPD in organising this type of conference and providing the oportunity for information to be shared.

The Minister mentioned “the improvements that had taken place in the field of disability through the establishment of the Santa Marta Day Centre in Victoria, which performs the function of a respite center for adults who regularly attend the activities that are organised there througout the day, as well as providing a one-stop-shop in the same centre from where the disabled and their families can avail all the services they need.”

She also praised the commitment of all those who work and are involved in this sector, saying that “although much remains to be done, the increased knowledge and services available today enables society to be more aware of the requirements for those with special needs, which should be considered on the abilities of each individual.”

FGhPD runs various organised activities including specific courses such as those for computer users, as well as holding information meetings and conferences. It also participated in the programme of the European Union, Promoting Social Inclusion of Disabled Persons With Challenging Behaviour, with the assistance of the Ministry for Gozo, the NCPD and Support Agency.

This conference was chaired by Mr Melvin Attard and Ms Yanika Attard, two autism specialists who have been working in this field for the past ten years. They gave general information about this condition with the emphasis on the differences in the development of individuals particularly in social interaction, communication, flexibility of thought and behavior as well as perception and sensory response .

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