The majority of CARA members were involved in the recent South African Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professionals (SA-ACAPAP) biennual congress held in Johannesburg in May 2019. The congress theme of ‘sustaining development’ along with many renowned international and local speakers allowed for a range of topics to be covered, including stimulating keynote addresses on planning the future of child and adolescent psychiatry as well as the role of child rights in Africa.
Thanks to funding support from the African Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 15 emerging child and adolescent mental health researchers participated in a one-day research training workshop in Johannesburg on the 23rd May 2019. The emerging researcher workshop was held in conjunction with the 20th congress of the South African Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (SA-ACAPAP). Participants included psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and social scientists from South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda.
Most children with autism and other developmental disabilities live in low- and middle-income countries; however, disability-related services for these children and their families are often lacking. To address this need, the World Health Organization developed a Caregiver Skills Training programme (WHO CST) for caregivers of young children with developmental disabilities. This programme is specifically designed with low-resource settings in mind and aims to train non-specialist facilitators from the community to deliver the intervention. During the 12-week programme, facilitators meet weekly with a group of caregivers to talk about everyday strategies that will help caregivers to promote their child's development. The programme also focuses on caregiver wellbeing and aims to reduce stigma, which is often associated with having a child with a disability. Click here to read more about this project in South Africa.
Prof de Vries andi his global team has just been awarded substantial funding for the TANDem Project (Epowering Families through Technology: a mobile–health project to reduce the TAND identification and treatment gap).
2 Aril is World Autism Awareness Day and April is World Autism Awareness Month. This is a special day and month set aside when Member States of the United Nations are encouraged to take active measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder throughout the world.
Dr Liezl Schlebusch and Ms Sandy Klopper (director of Autism South Africa) attended the 2nd International Technical Consultation and Coordination Meeting on the World Health Organisation's Caregiver Skills Training Programme for families of children with developmental disabilities.
Two stakeholder workshops (one in the North West Province and one in Gauteng) were recently held as part of the DiamonD Families Study, which is a partnered venture between the Centre for Autism Research in Africa, the National Department of Social Development, and Autism South Africa.
Dr Lauren Franz and Prof Petrus de Vries recently published a summary of their ongoing work at CARA in the on-line research platform "Spectrum".
Professor Petrus de Vries, head of CARA, was recently elected as a Fellow of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).
CARA just named as the recipient of the INSAR 2018 Cultural Diversity Research Award!
A new blog entitled Autism research in Africa was recently published in the open access journal Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics. The blog was written by CARA members Prof Petrus de Vries and Josh Yeatman.
To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, the US Consulate in Cape Town and CARA partnered together to host a special film screening and discussion about Oscar nominated documentary, Life, Animated. The film is an inspiring story about a young man with autism and his lifelong love of Disney movies which allows him to process the world and in turn learn to communicate. It depicts his and his family's journey from early childhood to adulthood.