PHOTO COURTESY DR RADICA MAHASE

Children suffering from autism who have excelled despite challenges are being encouraged to apply for the 2021 Autism Super Hero Awards.

Founder of Support Autism TT Dr Radica Mahase said for the first time her organization will be honouring children with autism, as well as their parents or caregivers and autism educators.

Dr Mahase, who has been assisting poor autistic children from rural Trinidad with financial aid, therapy and educational opportunities said children suffering from autism continue to be marginalized in T&T.

The organization has 250 youth volunteers and 325 people with Autism registered.

“This award is the first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago. It celebrates individuals with Autism and those who support them in various ways,” Dr Mahase said.

She explained that growing up with Autism can be very challenging.

“It often takes the combined efforts of parents and caregivers, siblings and educators to deal with the challenges,” she said. 

Saying it was important to award those who persevere and excel despite the challenges and their support system, Dr Mahase called on citizens to continue to reach out to families with autistic children.

“We hope to promote awareness and acceptance and most importantly, it brings a sense of inclusion for our autistic children,” Dr Mahase said.

 She explained that nominations are open to nationals for five categories. These include personal achievement (An individual with Autism who has excelled despite challenges) outstanding Sibling (A brother/sister who constantly supports their sibling with Autism in everyday life); Dedicated Youth Volunteer (A young person age 10 to 25 years old whose voluntary work has made a difference in the lives of individuals with Autism) Superhero Parent/Caregiver (A parent or caregiver who has exceeded expectations in their given situation); and Committed Educator (A teacher/educator who has worked consistently to make a difference in the lives of individuals with Autism).

Nominations will close on March 31 and the awardees will be announced on April 30th.

Anyone wanting to contribute towards Support Autism T&T can send an email to [email protected] or call Dr Mahase at 791-132

Reporter: RADHICA DE SILVA