AmCham Citi Golfing for Life Tournament - Sunday 3rd June, 2012 at St. Andrew’s Golf Club, Moka, Maraval.
The very first organisers of the AmCham T&T tournament back in 1992 were Mrs. June Maharaj (AmCham T&T’s first Executive Director), Mrs. Suzette Farah, Ms. Nisha Lau and Fedex Corporation, Mr. Jean De Meilliac and Mr. Jean Mouttet and originated from the need to create an event where AmCham T&T Members at the time could interact and network in a more sociable and relaxed environment.
A unique feature to this golf tournament was the Linkage element whereby players who may not have scored well in the tournament would be randomly ‘linked’ with players with high scores and their combined scores would give the randomly selected teams an opportunity to win some fabulous prizes.
AmCham T&T has always supported various charities over the years with part proceeds from the tournament being donated to the Junior Golf Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL) and Servol.
In 2011 and again in 2012, AmCham T&T will be donating part proceeds from the tournament towards the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago and the Life Centre.
What is Autism?
There are over 400 known cases of autism in Trinidad and Tobago and many persons with autism are often left undiagnosed.
Autism is a developmental brain disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life. It affects brain areas controlling language, social interaction and abstract thought. Children and adults with autism typically have deficiencies in verbal and non-verbal communication, and social interactions. (Source: United Cerebral Palsy - www.ucp.org)
We have discovered that the general population of Trinidad and Tobago knows very little about autism and often shun persons with autism and their families. As we are not educated enough about autism, it is very easy to judge and jump to conclusions about something that we do not understand. As several children are often left undiagnosed, parents encounter challenges when it is time for their children to enter the education system, teachers punish children who may be ‘acting out’ as they are not trained to identify or are unable to recognise the signs of autism. As many families may be below the poverty line diagnosis of autism is often left up to health care professionals in clinics who again may not recognise or may not be adequately trained to identify the first signs of autism.
What are the first signs of Autism?
In the present age of the internet, there are several avenues for us to access information about autism although the most reliable source should be from your health care provider. Should one however, wish to be au courant with the ‘red flags’ of autism here they are:
1. Impairment in Social Interaction:
- Lack of appropriate eye gaze
- Lack of warm, joyful expressions
- Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
- Lack of response to name
2. Impairment in Communication:
- Lack of showing gestures
- Lack of coordination of nonverbal communication
- Unusual prosody (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm,unusual voice quality)
3. Repetitive Behaviours & Restricted Interests:
- Repetitive movements with objects
- Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands, or fingers
(Source: First Signs - www.firstsigns.org)
Should your child display any of the above signs you should contact your health care provider immediately for an evaluation.
Last year AmCham T&T was able to support each of the above mentioned charities thanks to the generous support of the organisations who participated in our tournament. This year’s tournament is scheduled for Sunday 3rd June, 2012 at St. Andrew’s Golf Course and we invite you and your organisation to come on board and partner with AmCham T&T for this year’s tournament so that we may continue to assist our above mentioned charities and build awareness of autism in Trinidad and Tobago.