Autism is on the rise. The World Health Organization estimates that at least one in 100 children is affected by autism right now. In contrast to the rising incidence and prevalence, services have not yet been developed to cater to the bare minimum needs of autistic children.
In this context, the Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with the Department of Education (Northern Province) and Mathavam, the center for neurodevelopmental disorders (www.mathavam.org), conducted an introductory training workshop on autism for 30 special education teachers attached to the Education Ministry of the Northern Province.
The introductory workshop was held on the 18th and 19th of May 2023 at the premises of the Faculty of Medicine, utilizing 12 multi-disciplinary resources consisting of academic professors, clinicians, and experienced therapists.
This two-day workshop is followed by a two-week placement at Mathavam in small groups. This placement will help the teachers enhance the range of skills needed to help autistic children. This is going on right now.
According to the initial feedback, the training workshop helped the participants update their knowledge of the technical aspects of autism. We have yet to receive feedback for the Mathavam placement.