#TurksandCaicos, April 17, 2021 – As April is observed as Autism Month, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Hon. E Jay Saunders, accompanied by Deputy Permanent Secretary Mrs. Tamera Howell-Robinson made an official visit to the Special Needs Association of Providenciales Center (SNAP Center) on 8th April, 2021. This visit allowed the team to view and observe the program and services offered.
The SNAP Center provides intellectual and life skills opportunities for children and young persons with special needs, inclusive but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Speech/Language Disorder, Learning Disorder and Down Syndrome, Ages 4 -21.
The SNAP Center is staffed with trained teachers, operating under an adequate ratio student to teacher population, imparting life skills programs, sign language and outdoor programs, all within a friendly learning environment.
In commenting on the visit, the Director, Ms. Betty-Ann Been stated that, “Our goal at the SNAP Center is to provide intellectual and life skills opportunities for the students with multiple disabilities; thus enabling them to function as productive citizens where possible. Each student is evaluated. This is followed by diagnostic reports and treatment plans to help parents and teachers as a guide to the development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) inclusive of life skills. Once this plan is completed and implemented it is reviewed quarterly using the combination of various international standard programs.”
During the visit, officials had the opportunity to view the various international programs applied, based on the student aptitude. Prior to departure from the SNAP Centre, Minister of Health, Honourable E. Jay Saunders stated, “This Government and in particular my Ministry will ensure that every action is taken to guarantee that our vulnerable children and young people have equal opportunities to succeed by providing the right educational support and health care. I am very proud of the stellar work being done by the staff of the SNAP Center. The students are in good hands”.
While pledging a personal donation of $2,000 to be used for life skills training, Hon. Saunders further shared that his desire is to “be a champion for those most vulnerable”.