Helping children with autism reach their potential

National 1 minute, 41 seconds


A NEW learning centre for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has opened in the capital, catering for children aged three to 12.

Vicky Ong, founder of Growing Minds in Gadong Central, said she was inspired to open the school after her son was diagnosed with autism in 2014.

“I saw there was a lack of centres that cater for children with autism with one-on-one intervention. Therefore I made the decision to set up an autism learning centre not only for my son but also to help families with autism spectrum disorder to walk through this life together,” she said yesterday.

Growing Minds uses the ABLLS-R (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills) as a tool to help identify critical skills, such as language, that are lacking in children with autism.

Vicky said her aim is to help children with ASD become more capable in their day-to-day life.

“We believe that every child has the ability to reach their maximum potential by teaching those skills that will facilitate their development and help them to achieve the greatest degree of independence and enhance their quality of life.”

After a year-long process, the centre gained accreditation from the Ministry of Education and is now open for enrolment.

The Growing Minds team comprises two behavioural therapists with a postgraduate background in special education and physical therapy.

Individual child programmes include teaching skills related to language, speaking, reading, social interaction, numeracy and other life skills such as basic grooming, hygiene and eating.

“We combine different strategies, techniques and approaches to suit what works best for each child, which has led to better individualised intervention programmes,” said Vicky.

“We believe that early intervention plays an important role for learning and skills development. The frequency of the therapy sessions and time gap between each session are also key factors to their learning progress,” she said.

For more information, members of the public can contact 2423690 or visit Growing Minds at No.16, 1st Floor, Block B, Bangunan Gadong Central, Simpang 21, Jalan Gadong.

The Brunei Times