The Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT) was founded on 31st May 1990 and is a non-governmental organization that is first and foremost a parent support group for families of persons diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Born out of this role, we began to offer services to children and adults with ASD, as well as training, as that was the type of support that parents were requesting. The mission of ASTT is: to work together with families to help all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders to achieve their fullest potential through education, training and advocacy for affordable and appropriate services.
At ASTT we employ a “parent as a partner” model, and offer a wide array of services. Presently we have adult groups, social/play groups for children, one to one therapy sessions (by appointment), and functional life skills training. We also have weekly music and art therapy sessions. A week long day therapeutic camp for children and adultsWe offer daily respite care service to families who attend the Centre regularly, and have included home visits as part of our services to families of persons with autism. While autism awareness is on the rise, there is so much more to be done to increase autism acceptance in our country by all our citizens, including Government officials and politicians. Our children with autism need access to affordable and appropriate educational and therapeutic services. Education and training for persons with autism is very limited and very expensive but is important if they are to be adequately prepared for employment. We are also involved in increasing autism awareness throughout T&T. We have conducted workshops in Tobago and the President, the General Manager and other members of ASTT have given talks to a wide range of persons – educators on invitation of the Ministry of Education and the Teacher’s Union, ECCE Centres, Children’s Authority, St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital, NWRHA through their health centres, nursing students, doctors on invitation of the UWI, PTA’s, private sector groups, other charitable organizations e.g. Rotary & Kiwanis Clubs.