By Lakhram BhagiratAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed or undiagnosed disorders in Guyana. It is also a topic not many Guyanese are knowledgeable about, since awareness surrounding this disorder is somewhat lacking.In Guyana, when the common person hears the term autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder, they are almost immediately puzzled as to what the disease really is or whom it affects, because the fact remains that the Public Health Ministry, and by extension the Government, is doing a poor job at educating the populace about ASD and the only time the conversation begins about the disorder is in April, World Autism Month, and it dies on April 30.We cannot deny the fact that we, the Guyanese people, are quite judgmental when it comes to the way children behave. We often shun mental health issues so when someone suggests that our children may be suffering from a mental health-related issue, we are quick to accuse them of referring to our children as ‘mad’. Then we would dismiss the issue and leave the child there without proper intervention for whatever they may be suffering from, resulting in us seeking treatment when it is quite often too late.ASDs are intricate neurological disorders often categorised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours and general communication abilities. However, persons suffering from ASD are more than likely to be on the higher academic scales, but suffer tremendously as it relates to their social skills and those on the opposite end of the academic field cannot access education, since they cannot speak or even concentrate. If we are to use the WHO figure of 1:160 given the approximate 775,000 persons resident in Guyana, then we would arrive at a figure of just over 4800 persons who have an ASD. But, that figure is yet to be confirmed or any data whatsoever in relation to ASD in Guyana.In 2018, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), USA, determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an ASD, with boys amounting for most of that number. It was determined that 1 in 37 boys has an ASD compared to 1 in 151 girls. It was conclusively expressed that boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism and most are diagnosed after the age of four.The WHO says individuals with ASD often present other co-occurring conditions, including epilepsy, depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The level of intellectual functioning in individuals with ASDs is extremely variable, extending from profound impairment to superior levels. Nevertheless, there are some telltale signs that can lead to early detection of ASD in children since they start appearing as early as six months of age.Parents with children with ASD as well as activists urge parents to observe their child’s behavioural patterns and look for signs such as lack of eye contact; social isolation; delayed language development; struggles identifying social cues; constant repetition of words or phrases; unusual reactions to taste, sound or smells and intense vexation in response to minor changes in their routine or surroundings. Experts have related that the aforementioned signs should be taken seriously and immediate intervention should be pursued.Once signs have been identified, it is advised that families seek the relevant information and services offered to help them address the individual needs of their child. But in Guyana services primarily for autistic children are not readily available since Government institutions offer very limited services and the NGOs are limited in what they can do since most of them depend on funding from donors and in most cases, the funding and grants are often minimal.Nevertheless, to access information and services to care for an autistic person one can visit the Step-By-Step Foundation, the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, or the Sorsha Williams Foundation since those entities are equipped to offer advice and specialised care.Additionally, one thing the organisations promote is acceptance of autistic persons since there is the stigma attached to persons who are not considered “normal” in the traditional sense. Persons with ASD often have to endure abuse at home from siblings who are tired of them getting all the attention and that is coupled with the deprivation of health, education and social opportunities.Persons suffering from ASD are heavily dependent on their primary care provider. There are a range of care options and skills training programmes for parents and other caregivers. The most effective is Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), which teaches young people, with autism, the life skills they need and how to tap into their true potential. Additionally, depending on their needs, children who have autism receive a range of therapies which included behaviour therapy, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, social skills training and sometimes feeding therapy. However, the training and therapy are not limited to the children but incorporate the parents or caregivers since they are the ones who have to understand the person with ASD.Remember that autistic people can do anything a “normal” person could and in most cases, they can do it better. Take an example from singer Susan Boyle; movie director Tim Burton; mathematician and scientist Albert Einstein; mathematician, astronomer, and physicist Sir Isaac Newton; comedian Jerry Seinfeld and Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri among a host of others. While the causes of the disease have not been isolated, it is widely believed that it stems from a series of genetic and environmental influences. Contrary to the popular myth, there is conclusive data that proves ASD is not remotely related to measles, mumps and rubella vaccines received during early childhood, rather the data went as far as determining that vaccinations, as a whole, do not increase the risk of ASD.Autism, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), affects 1 in every 160 children worldwide, but sadly for Guyana there are no comparative statistics since autism is only highlighted during the month of April or whenever a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) hosts a programme that seeks to bring about awareness.
Dear Editor,It does not augur well for Region Six when at the very first statutory meeting at the beginning of the new year, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) was taken by surprise by an allegedly massive corrupt deal which was exposed by RDC Councillor Zamal Hussain.The region purchased an obsolete D4D bulldozer which was reportedly manufactured in the 1970s for a whopping $15 million while a brand new D7 Caterpillar Bulldozer sells for $16 million.What is more astonishing was the fact that this machine was parked outside the RDC compound with the top officials not even aware of its arrival. The REO heard about its ‘arrival’ at the meeting when the issue was raised.She admitted that someone should have inspected the machine to verify that it was according to the order specifications. I wish to submit here that a copy of the invoice which served as a Delivery Note should have accompanied the machine and that this should have been verified with the order specification. The engineer should have been the person doing this and communicated the delivery to the REO and the Chairman.He is responsible for taking the machine into the inventory. This is normal accounting procedure and the REO is the Accounting Officer and the Delivery Note signed by the Engineer should have been given to the REO. However, in all fairness to he,r she made a commitment to send the bulldozer packing once it is discovered to be defective and not according to the specification.The fact that the REO admitted that she knows nothing of the delivery and receipt of the machine begs the question of the effectiveness of communication at the highest level of the RDC, the effectiveness of the inspection process and the accounting for goods received to ensure that the goods received comply with the goods ordered in terms of the specifications.The inspection of the bulldozer by a team of competent engineers brought together by Regional Chairman David Armogan, exposed the fact that the bulldozer ordered was a D3 not a D4D Caterpillar and a part from the engine is ‘back pressuring’ (which means that it is at the end of its useful life) there are 10 other major defects which are natural since the D4D bulldozer was manufactured in 1970 and is now obsolete.Unfortunately, while the hastily done paint job on the bulldozer was done for cosmetic purposes, it could not have hidden its antiquity!Furthermore, there is compelling evidence to prove that this transaction smacks of corruption.I am calling for a proper investigation into this bulldozer deal and the culpable perpetrators to be exposed. If this Government wants to retard its downward slide and improve its ratings, then it needs to address the corruption which is galloping at break-neck speed in all directions and in all quarters!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC Councilor,Region Six
The Guyana Association of Women Police (GAWP) on Saturday hosted its annual Hat Show and CompetitionOne of the participants in the elegant category of the competition displaying her hatwith the aim of providing bursaries for six students who would be writing the Secondary School Entrance Examination (SSEE) and in celebration of Guyana’s 50th Independence anniversary.The event hosted at Police Officers’ Mess Annexe, Eve Leary, saw children, women young and old, beautifully attired in colourful dresses, complimented by exquisitely designed hats.The atmosphere was one of delight with many ‘oohs and ahhs’ by onlookers as each participant walked in with their hat displays which mainly depicted Guyana’s diverse culture.The competition consisted of three main categories – elegant, comical, and children.Those participating were from the general public and also youth groups from D Division of the Guyana Police Force.The winners were all awarded.The event culminated with song and dance and the audience feasting on tea and a variety of dishes.Speaking to Guyana Times, event coordinator Superintendent Maxine Graham explained that the event started last year is focused on providing finances for students who excelled at the SSEE examination to further their studies.“The Police Force would usually give bursaries to some children that are writing the grade six exams each year, especially those who excel and they would usually get from one to fifth prizes.”Graham explained that GAWP would normally award only five students with bursaries but that the association wanted to do more, thus hosting the hat show and competition.“We at the association wanted to do more for the students, so in order to raise funds which will enable us to do this; we have decided to make this hat show and competition an annual event. So that means that we will have another child that will benefit from our bursary award”.The coordinator hopes with the continued support of the Police Force and the general public, next year can see the event being hosted yet again.Also speaking with this publication, one parent expressed delight and appreciation for the interest GAWP has shown towards assisting students who are not financially stable.“I want to thank them for this because there are a lot of parents that cannot afford to allow their child to pursue a higher education and this will be very helpful for them”.
Before you polish the dust off your line-dancing boots, the official Tailgate Party is open only to those with tickets to the Rose Bowl Game. To enter, fans will have to pay an additional $20 at the gate. Along with the music, the party promises a quarterback challenge, a field-goal kicking challenge, live radio and television broadcasts, an RV giveaway, and, of course, food, beer and wine. But the main draw is Big & Rich, whose songs “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and “Comin’ to Your City” are sure to whip the Texas Longhorn fans, and a few Trojans too, into a boot-stomping frenzy. A version of the latter tune – the refrain is as follows, “And we’re comin’ to your city/Gonna play our guitars and sing you a country song/We’ll be flyin’ higher than a jet airliner/And if you want a little bang in your yin yang come along” – is used as the theme song for the ESPN College Game Roadshow. The tailgate party could become an annual event, Krulewitz said, depending on how things go Wednesday. ESPN recently signed a long-term contract with the Tournament of Roses, which hosts the game. Future tailgaters may be scaled back somewhat, since the national championship comes to the Rose Bowl only once every four years. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4458160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Dunn, wish list in hand, said the first priority will be to improve the stadium scoreboard and video board – the sort of upgrades that make for a better game-day experience but are not absolutely necessities. “We still have the money to do the necessities,” Dunn said. The niceties, he added, are harder to find the money to pay for. Big & Rich are coming to Pasadena as part of the ESPN National Championship Tailgate Party, a first of its kind event at the Rose Bowl Game. The sports television network ESPN is sponsoring the “event before the event,” which will be held in Area H outside the stadium from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday. “Clearly, the Rose Bowl is the biggest event in the sport this year. We are pulling out all the stops,” said ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz. PASADENA – USC versus Texas. The matchup is so hot that a few women offered to take their clothes off in exchange for tickets to the game. But what does the Rose Bowl get out of the deal? Other than a trampled field and beer-stained floors? Maybe a little pocket money, thanks to the country-fried pop/hip-hop duo Big & Rich. “I’m guessing around $150,000,” said Darryl Dunn, Rose Bowl general manager. “Considering last year we had a shortfall in our budget of about $200,000, that will help.”
Arsene Wenger hailed his players for focusing on events on the pitch as Arsenal raced to a 4-1 victory against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.The Gunners got off to a flyer when Nacho Monreal gave them the lead after six minutes before going on to assist Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny to give them a 3-0 lead after just 13 minutes.Alexandre Lacazette finished off a wonderful Arsenal move to make it four just after the twenty-minute mark.Luka Milivojevic pulled one back for the away side in the second-half but the victory was never in doubt for the Gunners after their splendid opening to the game.The build-up to the game has been overshadowed by stories surrounding Alexis Sanchez finalising his move to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United this week, but Wenger was very happy with the Gunners’ performance without the Chilean.Wenger said: “Every good team needs Alexis Sanchez but today I think even without Sanchez we played well.“Losing a big player is a bit destabilising in January so it’s a bit more different than usual because of that.“Now it’s close to happening and there’s nothing worse for players than dealing with uncertainty but today we focused on our job.“We combined well and had good pace and always looked dangerous. That’s why I think we did very well in the first-half.“We couldn’t maintain that level in the second-half, maybe we lost that urgency, focus and they [Crystal Palace] had a good response in the second-half.”
Downs, with a Mexican mother and an American father, criticized the Oaxaca state government for being heavy-handed with protesters, who have camped out in Oaxaca City’s main plaza for three months and taken over radio and TV stations to call for the governor’s resignation. The performer called on both sides to reach a peaceful agreement in Oaxaca, which has seen its tourist industry suffer because of the unrest. – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.She was the fifth Puerto Rican winner in the pageant’s 55-year history. – Associated Press Singer calls for peace in Oaxaca Grammy-winning folk singer Lila Downs, whose latest CD is called “The Cantina, Between Drinks,” said the political unrest in her native Oaxaca state and in the country’s capital has Mexicans looking for a little escape. “We want to take refuge in the cantinas,” Downs said on Monday during an appearance to promote her new CD and an upcoming concert at Mexico’s National Auditorium. The reigning Miss Universe made a triumphant return to her native Puerto Rico on Monday, kneeling to kiss a red carpet rolled out at the airport for her first visit to the island since her crowning in July. Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza, wearing a short green dress and waving a Puerto Rican flag, was greeted by the governor of the U.S. territory as she stepped off the flight from New York. Since the contest, she has been touring countries including Japan and Indonesia. “I’m proud to be Puerto Rican, to represent Puerto Rican women and to represent the Puerto Rican people,” the 18-year-old aspiring actress said. Rivera, whose parents and two younger brothers also greeted her at the airport, planned to return today to her hometown of Salinas on the southern coast.
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Sligo AC’s Michael Morgan was an emphatic winner of the boys under 19 race at the Irish Life Health national uneven age group cross country championships in Dunboyne, county Meath on Sunday.Morgan, who’s 17, was a comfortable winner of the race in mudbath conditions at the aptly named ‘Cow Park’ in Dunboyne.His coach Dermot McDermott spoke to Ocean FM Sport after the race: play stop mute max volume 00:00 00:00 repeat Athletics coach Dermot McDermott 15/12/2019 Download Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. South Sligo AC’s Francis Donoughue won bronze in the boys under 13 race on SundayThere was further success for Sligo athletes with South Sligo’s Francis Donoghue winning bronze in the boys under 13 race while North Sligo took team silver and bronze in the novice women’s and mean’s races respectively.
In March, our profession reached a major milestone when SHRM awarded its 100,000th certification—just two years after launching the SHRM-SCP and SHRM-CP program. Practitioners who hold these credentials are the advance team for tens of thousands more who will pursue SHRM certification—and, importantly, recertification—in the coming years. As the number of SHRM certification-holders grows, so will the expertise, reputation and prestige of our profession. Our organizations will also benefit greatly from competency-based HR as we make the transition to a 21st century workplace and an economy where people are the competitive differentiator.SHRM certification demonstrates that an HR professional has done more than master technical knowledge and facts. As one certified SHRM member told us, it means being the “what if” person at their organizations: “If it works well here, what will happen if we apply it there?”In this way, certification verifies mastery of specific behaviors that allow professionals to apply their knowledge on the job, in real time. And that’s what makes SHRM certification different: It focuses not only on what professionals know, but also on what they can do.In addition, our research shows that HR professionals who have the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP earn more each year than those who don’t—$5,000 and $17,000, respectively, on average—and a majority believe that their certification was a factor in their getting promoted. Organizational leaders are telling us they count on the enhanced capabilities that SHRM credentials bring to the table, and employers are increasingly seeking out people who hold these certifications.It bodes well for businesses that there is a growing, global community of 100,000 HR professionals with the competencies needed to lead their organizations—taking charge of organizational strategy, talent acquisition, innovative workplace practices, and more. And when they ask themselves and their organizations “what if,” they are truly shaping the future of business, work and our profession
Massachusetts ~ Personal Income Tax: Legislature Approves Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Millionaire TaxBy admin on December 12, 2019
CCH Tax Day ReportA joint session of the Massachusetts General Assembly approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would impose an additional income tax of 4% on resident individuals who report annual taxable income over $1 million. If approved by voters, the tax would apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019 and the taxable income threshold would be adjusted annually for inflation.S.B. 10, as approved by the Massachusetts General Assembly on June 14, 2017