Autism Week closes for 2017

By Seia Soloi ,

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SENESE TEAM: Director of SENESE, Marie Bentin To’alepaialii, Rev Elder Mafi Oloapu with students of SENESE.

SENESE TEAM: Director of SENESE, Marie Bentin To’alepaialii, Rev Elder Mafi Oloapu with students of SENESE.

The Autism Week (aafiaga tumau o  le mafaufau)  has officially ended.

The hosting organization, SENESE Samoa held a closing ceremony at SENESE Vaitele.

From the 24th to the 28th of April every year this is a special  week to celebrate the lives of students who have the autistic disorder in Samoa and around the globe.

The celebration was held in different schools in Samoa starting from Manunu Village up to schools that are in town. 

The leader of the Primary Programme, Tupaepae Simi says that SENESE is very thankful for what the community has shown throughout this one-whole week programme.

“This whole week is a challenging and exciting week for the SENESE Team and for the students with autistic problems and for the parents as well.

“What we want to achieve during this week is that everyone especially every parent understands his/her autistic child and can help them in simple ways.

“Throughout this week we have had students participating from five different primary schools in Upolu by singing songs, perform drama skits to make things simple for other students who have autism to help them understand what we are trying to tell them.

Entertainment by the students closed the Autism Awareness Week.
Entertainment by the students closed the Autism Awareness Week.

Mrs. Simi says they have been facing some difficulties during their work.

“Some parents don’t really seem understand how to care for their children who have autistic mental health problems so our job is to let them know what they can do and how they can help their child.” 

More than 20 autistic students have been diagnosed in Samoa but at this year’s celebration, not all of them participated but only those from the chosen schools that the SENESE team visited at the beginning of the week.

“We want to thank all of our sponsors who donated prizes and everything to make autistic students feel happy. Because what we want for the autistic child to feel, is happy.”

Mrs. Simi said their other expectation for next year’s Autism Week is for Savaii to host.

“Hopefully for next year because it will be great if we have an Autism Week in Savaii because we want the children to be happy and know that they are important and that we treat all people equally.

The Autism Week concluded with entertainment by the students of SENESE  singing songs, and doing skits.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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