April 3, 2019

Expert urges govt to invest in capacity building for children with autism

Expert urges govt to invest in capacity building for children with autism

Mrs Dotun Akande, Director, Patrick Speech and Languages Centre, Ikeja, has urged three tiers of government to invest in capacity building programmes for children and adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Akande made the plea in an interview with a journalist on Wednesday in Lagos, saying capacity building formed a major part in managing ASD.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, defines Autism as “a developmental disorder characterised by troubles with social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behaviour.

Akande said: “We need specialists from other climes to help in managing the ASD, because we lack specialists in these areas.

“This is where the governments can really support us.

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“Governments do not necessarily need to give us money in cash, instead, they can invest in bringing in resource people that can support this programme and develop it to international standard.

“With the little resources and knowledge we have at Patrick, we have been able to do great works.

“Many of our children have gone to mainstream schools or have taken to one vocation or the other.

`This simply tells us that all we need is attention, love, care and understanding with the right resources to support these children and adults with autism.”

The director called on well-meaning Nigerians to be more philanthropic and care for the families that were still struggling financially.

“One of our major objectives at Patrick is to support families that cannot afford our services by giving scholarships to their children.

“We cannot do this alone effectively, that is why we are calling on well-meaning people to come and join us in making this a reality.

“Everything is not really about money; as a specialist, you can devote two hours in one of our training sessions and lend your expertise to improve the class,” she said.

Akande said that many Nigerians believed that it was a complete waste of resource training a child with special needs like autism because they feel nothing good could come out of them.

“We implore parents, who have children with special needs to look beyond what other people are saying and seek answers from experts and knowledgeable people.

“I have worked with these children for over 13 years; I have lived with mine for over 21 years and I know that you will not regret anything you put into these children,” she said. (NAN)