Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand – Waitaki Autism Trust was established in December last year by Yanina Vidal and Stephanie Peters. The Otago Daily Times reports that it was set up as a support network in the Oamaru area and a way to provide funding for parents to use ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis).
Ms Vidal and Mrs Peters have personal knowledge of ABA as they have used ABA therapy in their own homes.
New Zealand does not fund ABA therapy. It will cost $76,000 a year for four Oamaru families to receive 12 hours of ABA therapy each week.
Ms Vidal who is Chairman of the trust said:
There was just nothing here for kids. If we ever needed any help we’d have to go to Dunedin,
She then adds:
We just thought it was time for us to move on and do our own. It’s still a work in progress, but I can only see it grow from now on.
All members of the Trust have children diagnosed with autism.
Initial funding will be put towards training two therapists to work with four children with autism in the Waitaki area. As well as funding ABA, the trust will be a support network for all Waitaki families with autistic children.
Ms Vidal hopes the trust will create a network of positive people in Oamaru who can help combat the stigma of autism.
The original article on the Otago Daily Times website can be found here