Lakeside Center for Autism was contacted by MEDRIX in July of 2012 to work together to support children affected by autism in Vietnam. We would collaborate on an assessment that takes the best evaluation and treatment information available and would help develop an understanding of what support services are available for children with autism in Vietnam. This information would then be utilized to create a report containing recommendations for further development of autism services in Vietnam. When we originally sat down with MEDRIX, we were hoping that we could travel with them to help evaluate services and provide recommendations. As time progressed we knew we would be unable to make the trip. However, ICAN was focused on continuing to provide support to these efforts so we offered for MEDRIX to come to ICAN Center for Autism and observe our clinic as a model example of services for children and families affected by autism. After concluding the observation and supporting the development of questions to ask the hospitals and schools in Vietnam, MEDRIX would be able to go to Vietnam and gather information and make recommendations for the improvement of services. In addition to the tour and the development of the questionnaire, we also provided a model intake and diagnostic report that we utilize at ICAN. This report is the most thorough and comprehensive in our area and will be studied by the professionals in Vietnam to support the development of the quality of their evaluations.
The team from MEDRIX went to Vietnam in late October and stopped in this week and provided an update from their visit. In their report it was great to hear that there are very committed people in Vietnam that want to do everything they can to support the children. They reported that the community in Vietnam is overwhelmed by the number of children that need support with limited support staff. Providers in Vietnam have to provide care to 30 to 60 kids per day. This is quite an astounding number and you wonder how it is possible. This was certainly an area that needs improvement not only for the kids but also for the treatment providers. By in large, the services available and provided in Vietnam are improving and they are very hungry for more support in their training to continue to improve their care. The individuals in charge of programs for autism are very interested in continued work with MEDRIX and we will continue to provide support in the capacity we are able to. It was great to have this opportunity and we look forward to more collaboration in the future. If you would like to find out more about MEDRIX, you can find them online at www.medrix.org.