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Autism awareness reaches Northern Group islands

Thursday 21 October 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in National, Outer Islands

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Autism awareness reaches Northern Group islands
Prime Minister Mark Brown with Nimeti Nimeti, executive officer for Manihiki Island Government, Anna Rauru, principal of Apii Tukao and Apii Tauhunu, and Member of Parliament for Manihiki Akaiti Puna. OPM/21102002

Autism Cook Islands is pleased to extend their vision to some of the Northern Group islands including Manihiki, Rakahanga and Penrhyn, by donating resources helpful in raising awareness for the schools on those islands.

Apii Tukao and Apii Tauhunu in Manihiki, Apii Rakahanga, and Penrhyn’s Tetautua and Omoka schools received a resource pack each from Autism Cook Islands.

All packs included the following: Resource Library Books featuring ‘Different Like Me’ (My book of autism heroes) and ‘When My Worries Get Too Big,’ which included teaching activities for teachers.

The resource packs also featured an Autism Cook Islands booklet/folder which included a presentation from the group and the way forward, autism quick cards in Cook Islands Maori, printouts from Autism CI workshops as well as sensory and managing behaviour information and resources.

Kat Jensen, programme manager for Autism Cook Islands, explained that these donations were made possible through her husband Allan Jensen, the chief executive of Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), who was a part of the government delegation trip to the Northern Group last week.

Prime Minister Mark Brown led the trip with the mission being to address various CIIC projects and land matters and to undertake important data to capture work for the government’s asset management programme, all in line with the corporation’s vision of providing quality assets that serve the Cook Islands people.

Jensen along the way was conveniently able to bestow the resource packs to schools on each of the three islands they visited.

Nimeti Nimeti, the executive officer for Manihiki Island Government who has two children on the autism spectrum on the island, was also gifted a USB with copies of Autism CI’s two past workshops as well as resources on communication passports, toileting, and routines and structures.

“Nimeti is now welcome to share any of this information with the Manihiki community,” Jensen said.

“All of the schools were very much appreciative of the resources provided.”

Jensen says Autism CI is committed to providing the outer islands with as much support as possible as seen through the two workshops they have already held in Aitutaki. She thanked CIIC for agreeing to take the packs to the Northern Group schools during this recent trip.