Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), will on Monday, August 29, 2022 begin the 12th edition of its two-day annual GTCO Autism Conference themed “Creating a Community of Awe-Tism Advocates,” at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
The conference, according to a statement, is a pivotal component of GTCO’s Orange Ribbon initiative and serves as a key advocacy platform for people living with autism and other developmental disorders.
In recent years, the GTCO Autism Conference has gained wider acclaim for bringing together some of the world’s leading experts in Autism, especially with the successful coordination of a fully virtual autism conference in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s edition, the statement said, will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions by experienced specialists from renowned institutions in Nigeria and abroad in a hybrid set-up to allow for both in-person and virtual participation.
Some of the partnering organisations include Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Autism Compassion Africa, Ghana, The Color of Autism Foundation, USA, Meharry Medical College, USA, and Behaviorprise Consulting Inc., Canada.
One-on-one consultations and questions and answer sessions during the conference, the group said, will provide opportunities for parents and other stakeholders to further engage on best practices for proper diagnosis and treatment of persons on the autism spectrum with the experts.
As a special feature and to ensure more persons with developmental disorders can benefit from professional help, provision has been made to offer specialist care to autistic children in the areas of speech and behaviour therapy, child psychology and psychiatry, as well as occupational development for adults living with autism via in-person consultations at the Chapel of Light, Alausa, Ikeja, starting from Tuesday, August 23 to Saturday, August 27 between 10am and 5pm.
Commenting on the 2022 Autism Conference, Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc said, “while much has been done over the years to increase the social consciousness around Autism and to improve the available support systems for managing developmental disorders, we strongly believe that we can do more individually and collectively to create and uphold a culture of inclusion towards people with ASD to enable them reach their full potential.
“The Orange Ribbon initiative was created to support children and adults with developmental disabilities with a focus on those with autism spectrum disorders. Now in its 2nd decade, the annual Autism Conference has over the years created a community of people with a shared commitment to create better outcomes for those who find themselves in the margins of society simply because they are different from the rest,” he stressed.