Parents Urged To Seek Autism And Cerebral Palsy Therapy

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Murang’a county first lady Wambui Kang’ata has pledged to establish a special medical program for mothers with Autistic children and Cerebral Palsy to ensure they get access to occupational therapy.

Speaking during the celebration to mark world occupational therapy day at Murang’a Level five hospital, Mrs. Kang’ata observed that there is a need for more awareness about the conditions like Autism and Cerebral Palsy and the need to seek medical intervention, especially for mothers in rural parts of the county.

“With the right therapy, these children are able to go to schools and in most cases they are able to live a normal life and they perform well in school” she said.

The chief occupational therapist at the Kenyatta National Hospital Celestine Omondi said that though the actual cause of Autism is not known, occupational therapy helps in managing the conditions enabling children to live independent normal lives.

She expressed concerns over the rise in the population of children with Autism which she says has overtaken the Cerebral palsy cases which were common in the 80s and 90s in the country.

According to Omondi, approximately six percent of children with different disabilities in the country are Autistic.

The KNH specialist noted that the primary goal of occupational therapy is to help patients improve their fine motor skills to enable them to live independently, adding that some of the skills might include dressing, brushing their teeth, or writing.

Omondi says Autism might not be noticed immediately after birth and mothers should always be on the lookout for any early indicators that the child is Autistic and seek medical attention immediately.

“Some of the autistic children reach the recommended milestones very well even faster than the normal children but at some point you will notice some physical defects and uncommon behavioral manners like not wanting to socialize with other people, they become totally defensive and don’t keep eye contact,” she noted.

Rebecca Kimanzi, an Occupational Therapist at Murang’a level five hospital also observed that occasional therapy is a client-centered health profession concerned with promoting the health and well-being of patients.

She urged parents whose children were having delayed milestones or those patients who had any form of physical dysfunctions or any form of mental health disorders to visit occupational therapists promptly for assessment and treatment.

Persons with Autism often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests while Cerebral Palsy affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

World occupational therapy day, marked on October 27 every year increases awareness of occupational therapists and their impact and also promotes the mission and goal of occupation therapy.

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