Costly venture, more support needed
OUTSPOKEN PARENT Michael McKenzie, father of a six-year-old who suffers from autism, said that he would continue to aid both parents and children following his son’s departure from the MLSS Early Stimulation Programme. He also used the platform to appeal to Government to do more.
“It’s a costly venture, and it takes a lot out of parents who already have to cope with so much emotionally and physically. So, it would bring some relief if the Government could provide any further assistance. I might have it a little easier, but it’s not the same for other parents.”
Speaking at Wednesday’s transition exercise, Zavia Mayne, state minister in the MLSS, reiterated the Government’s commitment to the educational advancement of the country’s most vulnerable children at all levels.
Where disabilities are concerned, the ministry is committed to the integration, inclusion and empowerment of all persons, and this was one such programme, Mayne said. He further commended parents for their commitment and encouraged them to continue caring for their children.
“Certainly, we’re extending ourselves, as a Government, for them (parents) to reach out to the different programmes within the ministry that will assist them going forward, be it the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education, Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities or the Abilities Foundation,” said the state minister.
Tamesha Graham (left) attends to son Zidane Bennett while Murlin McCalla (second left), supervisor, looks on at the annual transition exercise for students in the Early Stimulation Programme at The Apostolic Church of Jamaica in central Kingston on Wednesday.