To set up and fund an AUTISM FOUNDATION in Colombo - which will give help and support to parents,
carers and autists in Sri Lanka; undertake research into the causes of autism in Sri Lanka; help with the dissemination of
information on Autism and Asperger's Syndrome in English, Sinhala and Tamil; provide advocacy services for parents, carers
To launch a data collection project right across the island.
To set up an AUTISM COMMITTEE consisting of health, education, social services professionals,
the voluntary sector/charities/NGOs - joint working and joined up thinking is absolutely crucial for all autistic people,
they can also look at good practice and make recommendations.
To introduce tough new legislation in parliament similar to the Disabilities Discrimination Act
in the United Kingdom to protect the rights of all autistic people in Sri Lanka; introduce new employment laws giving access
to the world of work.
Introduce a special examination and a special qualificiation for autistic people who may
or may not be entered for GCEs, A levels ; introduce special assessments for autistic children who are in mainstream schools.
Open more Special Schools wherever the need arises.
Encourage inclusion in mainstream schools - both in the Government Sector and in private schools.
Introduce compulsory disability training for all school principals and staff.
Introduce disability awareness - including autism to all mainstream school children.
Introduce disability units including a study on autism in all teacher training courses including
teacher training degree courses in universities.
Appoint a Disabilities Minister who will also look at the needs of autistic children and adults
across the Disability Spectrum.
Launch an Autism Awareness Week in Sri Lanka.
We recommend that the Ministers of Health and Education visit other countries such as the UK
and liaise with Ministers looking at how these countries provide public services for autistic people also looking at good
practice in other countries.
Request funding and expertise from other countries to help set up the Autism Foundation
and Autism Projects in Sri Lanka.
Organise an Autism Conference in 2004 in Colombo aimed at raising awareness through seminars,
workshops - for health, education and social services professionals and the voluntary sector - we are prepared to bring a
team of experts from the United Kingdom- provided the Government of Sri Lanka funds their visit.
Launch a recruitment and retention campaign to attract special educational needs teachers and
specialist speech therapists right across Sri Lanka.
Encourage new ways of thinking where Disabilities and Autism is concerned - education from infant
school to univesity is a key area, employment is another area, we also need a debate on Autism and the Elderly.
We urge the Ministry of Health to introduce the CHAT system of early diagnosis for autism - initiated
by world autism expert Dr. Simon Barry Cohen of Cambridge University.
We urge the Ministry of Education to develop educational strategies in mainstream schools for
children and young people with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
We appeal to the Government of Sri Lanka to provide more funding for public services in health,
education, specialist speech therapy and respite care for people with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
We urge President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to make a policy
statement on Autism and reach out to the Autistic Community in Sri Lanka.