Mario Carey and Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes Support Autism Awareness (Courtesy Call)
Recently, about 25 students from Blairwood Academy with autism and other special needs students were warmly welcomed to the historic Government House. Governor General, Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes were paid a courtesy call by R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas representatives and students from Blairwood Academy as a part of R.E.A.C.H.’s Autism Awareness month of activities. In his address, R.E.A.C.H. President, Mario Carey praised the Blairwood Academy for fostering a safe and wholesome environment for the children and noted the progress that the Bahamas is making towards building an environment where children with autistic challenges can grow and develop. Importantly, Carey noted the need to have a special needs learning center on government land to further make this progress a reality. Carey, who is presently a part of a committee aiding to design such a facility, in his speech addressed the need for more trained teachers. He stressed the need to have more teachers that can work with students affected by autism, mentioning that the need for more trained teachers today is even more vital than having a learning facility.
This meeting was deemed a heartfelt one as His Excellency, the Governor General affirmed the students of how important and loved they are. Accordingly to the Bahamas Weekly, His Excellency reminded the students that, “A lot of important people come to Government House, The Queen has been here. Prince Harry has been here. Mr. Mandela has been here. Today, we have you. You are also very important people and we want you to know that you are loved.”
Then, in his speech at the Annual Light It Up Blue Opening Ceremony on World Autism Awareness Day, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Perry Christie mentioned that as many as 35,000 children in The Bahamas have been diagnosed with autism or other challenges that can impede their ability to learn in a traditional environment. Autism is no joke! R.E.A.C.H. President, Mario Carey said it well, “We have a long way to go” and it will take a collaborative effort to help in the fight against autism.
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