Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, the condition will affect them in different ways. Statistics show that around 1% of the child population are on the Autism Spectrum, and 4 out of 5 children diagnosed, are boys. Whilst there is no existing cure for autism, research has shown that early diagnosis is important as this allows intervention to commence at a young age, giving children the best chance to reach their full potential.
Inspire, the Foundation for Inclusion, has developed a range of specialised programmes that respond to the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. These include the Early Years and Middle Years Structured Training and Education Programmes (STEP), Specialised Training for Lifestyle Enhancement (STYLE) and Outreach which provide specialised intervention at our centres, within the home and community. These specialised programmes are are the only local programmes that are accredited with the National Autistic Society’s Austim Accrediation Programme (UK). More recently Inspire’s Multisensory and Therapeutic Horse Riding programmes have also been accredited.
As an important component of delivering a fully comprehensive service inproviding support to children/adolescents, on a weekly basis, children in Inspire’s Early Years programme make use of the therapeutic services at the Inspire Marsascala branch. Using facilities such as the indoor hydrotherapeutic pool, the state of the art multi-sensory theatre and therapeutic horseback riding provide the children with an opportunity to develop numerous skills in a variety of environments – and have fun at the same time.
Due to the diverse and the varying degrees of how autism impacts the individual’s life, Inspire’s Outreach programme provides tailor made services that are designed to meet the individual’s needs and addresses these challenges. This is achieved by working closely with both student and parents to develop and implement an individualised support plan. The parents will be assisted to effectively address home-life issues through realistic objectives and practical family-friendly strategies to reach the goals that are often a challenge for their families. Through hands-on demonstration, stakeholders are empowered with the necessary skills to implement these strategies with the support and coaching of the Inspire professionals.
More information on our Autism Programmes can be obtained by contacting Inspire’s Parent Relations Manager – Charlene Borg on 20928100/12 or via email on Charlene.Borg@inspire.org.mt