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Parents Encouraged Not to Place Limitations on Children with Disabilities

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Jamaica Information / Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (centre), in discussion with State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Zavia Mayne (left), and Director of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP), Antonica Gunter-Gayle (right), at a transitional ceremony for 48 students in the ESP, held yesterday (July 11) at the Apostolic Church of Jamaica Bethel Temple in Kingston. + – Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (centre), in discussion with State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Zavia Mayne (left), and Director of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP), Antonica Gunter-Gayle (right), at a transitional ceremony for 48 students in the ESP, held yesterday (July 11) at the Apostolic Church of Jamaica Bethel Temple in Kingston. Story Highlights Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, is calling on parents not to place limitations on children with disabilities, as they can accomplish much with education and training. Addressing a transitional ceremony for 48 students from the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) on July 1, at the Apostolic Church of Jamaica Bethel Temple in Kingston, she pointed out that many of these children have overcome the challenge and are doing well in various fields. The Minister emphasised that the obligation is on parents to access support such as that offered by her Ministry to build the capacity of the children, so that they can become able adults and “contribute meaningfully” to the society.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, is calling on parents not to place limitations on children with disabilities, as they can accomplish much with education and training.

Addressing a transitional ceremony for 48 students from the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) on July 1, at the Apostolic Church of Jamaica Bethel Temple in Kingston, she pointed out that many of these children have overcome the challenge and are doing well in various fields.

The Minister emphasised that the obligation is on parents to access support such as that offered by her Ministry to build the capacity of the children, so that they can become able adults and “contribute meaningfully” to the society.

Mrs. Robinson stressed that their education should not be jeopardised due to disabilities. “Let us stop putting limitations on the children, and be mindful that (they) are great imitators. We must ensure that we give them something good to imitate,” she said.

Meanwhile, State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Zavia Mayne, said the teachers at the ESP are loving and are dedicated to the programme.

He also encouraged parents to highlight the benefits that their children have received in the programme.

“Give the testimony, because there are others in your surroundings who may be in a similar position and might not know where to turn,” the State Minister said.

Mr. Mayne said that help is available, as the Ministry is committed to serve the special needs groups, and “no one will be turned away”.

Director at the ESP, Antonica Gunter-Gayle, told the gathering that the children entered the institution late in their development, but they have gained the “necessary prerequisite skills” to move on to primary-level education.

“Our aim is to reach all our children with special needs. We want them to be part of the programme, as so many children are locked away with so much potential. We have to reach them, we must reach them. It is our responsibility to reach our children with special needs,” the Director said.

The ESP caters to children zero to six with various types of developmental disabilities. Thirty of the graduating children will be going on to special education programmes, while 18 will be enrolled in the regular school system.

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