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Don´t underestimate potential of autistic children, parents advised

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Advocate for Autism Policy at Autism Lights Inc, Wamaratu Chege has advised families with austistic children not to underestimate the potential of the children.

Wamaratu says children with autism have the capability to achieve rewarding and successful careers.

Chege advised as he gave examples of prominent people in the world such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates who have Autism.

He spoke to stakeholders, teachers and parents gathered in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for an Autism Awareness campaign organized by International Conference for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ICAN) at Julius Nyerere Convention Centre that saw many countries joining together to create awareness about autism.

Autism is a Neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.

People with Autism have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.

Wamaratu Chege who is leading delegates from Nyandarua County, highlighted that County governments in Kenya must facilitate the budget to build the classrooms as the Autism bills were passed in counties.

“By not doing so were discriminating against autistic children in terms of educational opportunities.“ Said Wamaratu.

He said they should receive equal treatment as other children in the community in the spirit of ´No child should be left behind.´

While challenging African countries to come up with a permanent solution, he noted that schools should build special classroom for autistic children from ECD level to Primary level adding that the only way to help such children is through early intervention which according to statistics, if the condition is detected at an early age, the child can get to live a fulfilling life if necessary treatment and care are given to him or her.

Former Chair for people with Autism in Tanzania, Dr. Stella Rosaula advocated for support of single parents struggling alone to raise the autistic children, noting that it is not easy for them to raise autistic children single-handedly.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Magistrate George Gaoma from Zambia and Eng. Shangwe Mgaya from South Tanzania who said there is a need to make changes in families with autistic children and stop stigmatisation.

Parents with autistic children were also advised to adopt dietary habits that do not hinder brain activity, such as avoiding sugars, wheat products, and processed foods.

Speakers further advised parents to expose their children to physical exercise to help dissipate their high energy potential.

KBC Digital
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