- Parent Category: SMARTER Brunei
- Created on Thursday, 06 August 2009 09:13
- Published on Thursday, 06 August 2009 09:13
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2001: A SMARTER Odyssey begins...
- A small dedicated group of parents worked hard to establish an organisation that would support them and their children on their life long journey with autism
- The journey began with uncertainty about what to do, where to go, and how to get there
- Despite all of those concerns, there was a sense of hope and determination..
- SMARTER Brunei was officially formed on the 9th September 2001.
- Early activities included:
- Meetings to establish the group, and its goals and objectives
- The Drafting Of the Constitution
- The Drafting of the Information Package
- The first workshops
- Stress Management
- Visual Strategies
2002: Building on the foundations
- In 2002 SMARTER Brunei started an awareness campaign to increase knowledge in autism to the public.
- There were many workshops for parents
- The 1st Brunei National Conference on Autism was held from April 19 to 21:
- My child is Autistic - What next?
- This gave a forum for sharing of ideas, hopes and dreams
- SMARTER Brunei organised a 24 hour marathon (Walking, Running and Cycling) from Kuala Belait to Bandar Seri Begawan to collect funds to send a representative from the society to attend the 1st World Autism Congress in Melbourne, Australia on the 10th to 14th November 2002....
- In true SMARTER style, the Marathon raised more than $20,000.........
- .... enough to send 5 delegates to the World Congress!!
2003: 2nd National Conference
- March 27 to 30 2003, the 2nd Brunei National Conference on Autism:
- Autistic individuals are not disabled, just different
- By the time the second conference was held in March 2003 the ASD centre was about to become a reality, well ahead of the planned schedule.......
- The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Centre was opened in a small loaned room in Jigsaw Primary School, Lambak Berakas. It provided an Early Intervention Programme for children with Autism.
2003: First Staff
- The Early Intervention Programme was conducted by 5 professionals:
- 3 physical therapists,
- 1 occupational therapist
- 1 special education teacher/occupational therapist)
2003: Second Centre
- In October 2003, the ASD Centre in Kuala Belait District was opened.
- 2 of the therapists were assigned each day on a roster to handle the Early Intervention Programme in that centre
2004: Settling in to the centres
- The Sengkurong Centre
- The bungalow for this centre was contributed by Ministry of Health
- The Kuala Belait Centre
- This bungalow was given jointly by the Shell Company and the Kuala Belait District Office
2004: 3rd National Conference
- The 3rd Brunei National Conference on Autism was held from March 1 to 3, 2004
- Parents are not the problem, but the solution
2004: Continued growth
- The ASD Centres grew and more programmes were developed, including:
- Sensory Integration
- Music and Movement
- Arts and Craft
- All of the programmes focussed on 3 aspects of development:
Social, emotion and Cognitive.
- SMARTER went Kayaking on December 26th 2004, the day the tsunami struck the region
- SMARTER paddlers were unaware of the drama unfolding in nearby countries as they paddled to Serasa
- No National conference was held this year, so that the focus of public donation could stay on those in need following the Tsunami
- The two centres continued to provide quality services to meet the interest and needs of the children as well as their families.
- Some children joined regular classes in government or private schools.
2005: International links
- In May 2005, SMARTER was recognized by the special educational unit of UNESCO
- The President of SMARTER Brunei was invited as an NGO representative to attend a special education meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
2006: 4th National Conference
- The 4th Brunei National Conference on Autism was held from 8 to 10 September, 2006:
Parents and Family members as Co-therapists
2006: Awareness and fundraising
- The President completed a 100 km Charity Walk, which raised both awareness and much needed funds
- Monthly Carboot Sales
- 5 hills Challenge
2007: 5th National Conference
- The 5th Brunei National Conference on Autism, was held from September 7 to 9, 2007:
- Strategies towards advocating an autism friendly society
2008: Institute of Medicine concert
- The Institute of Medicine, UBD arranged a concert which raised more than $70,000
- 2 new vans!!!
2008: Charity Shop
- The SMARTER Brunei Charity Shop opened in February 2008
- The shop provides:
- income for SMARTER
- Vocational tasks for the students attending BACA
- Opportunities to raise community awareness about autism
2008: Autism Roadshow
- SMARTER Brunei organised an 'Autism Awareness Road Show' around Brunei throughout April, in conjunction with :
- Child Development Centre of the Ministry of Health
- Special Education Unit (UPK) of the Ministry of Education
2008: 7 Hills Challenge
- Malai went walking again!
2008: Expanding facilities, again
- In May 2008, major extensions provided an enlarged indoor sensory area at the Sengkurong Centre.
- The building renovation was completed as part of a community service project by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces
- The SMARTER Brunei Autism Centre for Adults (BACA) was established
- This centre will focus on:
- Personal management
- Home management
- Leisure & spiritual management
- Academic skills management
- Vocational management
- Employment management
- Family life management
- Work for the SMARTER Charity shop
2008: Consultants appointed
- In June 2008, Debbie Smith and Yvette Cook made their first visit as consultants for SMARTER Brunei
- During their visit they observed in all classes, and worked with parents, staff and children
- They look forward to continuing to work closely with SMARTER in the future
- The past 7 years have seen amazing progress and development for SMARTER
- This has been possible because of ongoing collaboration and commitment
- We need to remember that:
- Together We can Make a Difference