Autism is Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by abnormalities in language, behaviour, and social relationships. Autism can usually be detected at 18 months of age or earlier. However, many children do not receive a definitive diagnosis until they are older.
On an early age, one can know if the child is autistic by observing the following symptoms:
Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful and engaging expressions.
Limited or no eye contact during breast feeding.
Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions And many more. it is advised to seek medical attention once the above symptoms are seen on a kid, for an early diagnosis.
With lack of knowledge on autism, part of society regard this as a curse making women face hardship in raising the kids single handily. A woman raising an autistic child may be segregated from the society leading to mental torture. This kind of women, with lack of knowledge on how to handle the situation may lead to them hiding their kids and in a very rare unfortunate cases some may kill them because of being regarded as outcasts.
Despite the negative effects that come with lack of knowledge, the society through some organizations, programmes and centres have taken an initiative to educate the mass and society on autism killing the myth on autism being a curse.
For instance, in Kenya, an organization like ANDY SPEAKES is one of the top movements in making sure that the society know about autism and accept the condition. ANDY SPEAKES has done so much in educating the society through social activities like running, biking and many more. Through people participating in these activities, they get to learn about autism. The organization has also merchants like t-shirts, capes, hand bands, jumpers with branded message on them about autism.
Signs Tv is another big stake holder in matters disability, the 24/7 sign language television has programs that are meant to educate the society on disability matters at large. The programs feature experts on different matters on disability. On Talent development, the Tv station has employed persons with disabilities to fight the stigma in the society and show their potential instead of weakness.
In Spain, an online programme named La Hora del Cafecito (The Coffee Time) analyses and discusses issues related to autism with a panel of specialists, educators, and health professionals. The show goal is to bring the informative content, tips and advice that are linked to autism research to the whole family and people who are interested in the topic.
Quinones, the show host and her colleagues have created a format to simulate a conversation much like a talk show. The panel is incorporated by two moms and a sibling of people with disabilities, who are also professionals in mental health, special education and public health. Quinones is not a parent or a sibling of anyone with autism, but she has experience as a paediatric physical therapist and in special education.
The program runs for an hour and is live-streamed every Friday via Facebook page, and it is available to listen to anytime on YouTube channel. Programming includes comments and analysis on autism, educational therapies and testimonies.
ARTICLE BY: SILAS ABBAS