We understand the program for the Assessment of Special Needs Children has been terminated and/or discontinued by the Ministry of Health & Wellness.
This special needs assessment was done by a trained Medical & Pediatric Professional contracted by the Government of St. Lucia through the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The evaluation is mandatory for each child who may display issues such as Health, Vision, Social and Emotional Development Challenges, Learning Disability, Poor Academic Performance, Underdeveloped Communication and Motor skills, etc.
The number of children on the waiting list for this program may well be in the hundreds, while there is a private entity offering the same services, many families cannot afford the fees as they must remain with their special needs child at all times, as some children require round the clock care or cannot attend school without the assessment report.
We, therefore call on the Hon. Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister & Minister for Finance, Sen. Mary Isaac, Minister for Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr. Gale T. C. Rigobert, Minister for Education and Hon. Lenard Montoute, Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, to reinstate this program, for the benefit of poor struggling mothers at the earliest.
The termination of this program further marginalizes special needs children, specifically those whose parents are poor, underprivileged, unemployed, underemployed, rural and struggling.