Autism Association of Barbados

The Autism Association of Barbados (registered charity # 612) was founded in 2004 with a goal of promoting the interests of individuals and families affected by autism and to lobby for improvements in their educational opportunities. They naturally align their association with the Barbados Council for the Disabled and operate from their headquarters' building in Harambee House.


The Autism Association of Barbados is currently working towards the development of a Respite Centre for the families of children with the disability, which they hope will be the foundation of a future Residential Care development.


What Is Autism

Autism is a lifelong disability which typically manifests itself during the first 30 months of life.


It is characterized by the presence of abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. Other common symptoms include sleeping, feeding, toilet problems, self injurious and self stimulatory behaviours. Manifestations of the disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and age of the individual. The degree of Autism varies from mild to severe and severely afflicted persons can appear profoundly retarded.


How Is Autism Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of autism is based on observation of the child's behaviour. There are no medical tests that can diagnose autism. It can be difficult because autism sometimes occurs in association with other disorders which affect brain function, more commonly mental retardation.


Early diagnosis is essential. Once identified, a child with autism can benefit from specialized education programs.



There is no cure for the condition, but treatment of children with autism is centred around six goals:

1. Stopping the bizarre and inappropriate behaviours that prevent the autistic child from relating and communicating with others
2. Increasing the attention span and perceptual skills needed to improve learning
3. Helping the child learn self care skills
4. Providing opportunities for the child to socialize with others
5. Stimulating the quantity and quality of language to increase communication skills
6. Educating parents to help provide these educational and relationship experiences


Facts About Autism

Autism affects as many as 1 in 150 children and 1 in 94 boys
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the world
More children will be diagnosed with autism worldwide this year than with diabetes, cancer, & AIDS combined
Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
There is no medical detection or cure for autism, but early diagnosis and intervention improve outcomes
Autism does not discriminate by geography, class, or ethnicity


Further information on the Autism Association of Barbados, Harambee House, The Garrison, St. Michael can be sourced at the following website or Telephone (246) 424-0455 or Email: .


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