Autism trust hosts welcome

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The Waitaki Autism Trust is well under way this year and hopes to welcome new families at a meeting on Monday.

The trust, which began last December, will be holding the welcome at the Orwell Street Church hall on Monday evening and is inviting anyone to come along.

Waitaki Autism Trust member Yanina Vidal said the evening was a chance for them to explain what the trust was about and to welcome new families.

Although her son uses Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy (ABA), which involves intensive one-on-one therapy, the trust wants to welcome any family, regardless of what type of therapy they want to use.

“We want to help children reach their maximum potential for all areas,” she said.

“We’ve had a few people worry we were only for ABA.”

The trust had three families so far but knew of some interested parents who were coming along to the meeting.

“We need parents to come along and support us and help us,” she said.

“We want our kids to be served a better quality of life.

“I don’t want autism to be seen as a disability.”

The trust had quite a few other events and plans for this year, including several garage sales and a visit from Australian clinical psychologist Jura Tender, who would be taking an upcoming workshop on autism.

“She’s going to be a great thing to have here,” Mrs Vidal said.

Another member of the trust, Steph Peters said they had been blown away by the amount of support they had received from the community – many people had offered to help them out.

The aim of the trust is to provide funding and support for families of children with autism in North Otago.

The welcome meeting will be held at 26 Orwell St, in the Orwell Street Church hall, on Monday, February 24 at 7.30pm.

Visit www.facebook.com/waitakiautism for more information on the trust.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to the trust can do so via the Trust’s bank account:

Waitaki Autism Trust, Kiwibank 38-9015-0535797-00.

By RUBY HARFIELD