By Dennis Agbo
A United States based Behaviour Analyst, Mrs. Dicta Ndolo has asked parents of children with Autism, not to be shy about their children but should rather come out and seek solution for their disabilities.
She said that Autism is just a mere behaviour disorder, which she stressed was not a diseases but a disability that can be worked upon for the affected person to join the society and attain his or her fullest potential.
Ndolo, who presently is creating Autism awareness campaign in Enugu, told Saturday Vanguard in an interview that the signs to look out for to spot a child with Autism were communication, social behaviours and speech challenges.
She encouraged parents to seek behaviour experts to offer help to their child with such disability, noting that the Microsoft CEO, Mr. Bill Gates was an Autistic person, yet he was able to climb to the pinnacle of his career.
Ndolo’s Autism awareness seminar holds at Bush House Arena Nza street, Enugu, on Saturday July 6, and a road walk on Saturday, July 13.
Ndolo said: “Autism is a developmental, neurological disability that affects one in 87 children and for every five kids affected, four of them are boys and one is a girl. Autism affects children when they are born, if they don’t get the help they need, they grow up into adult with autism and being an adult with Autism is not a terrible thing except if the child is very heavily affected.
“There are three major characteristics of Autism and there are minor ones. The major ones are difficulty in communication, difficulty with social skills and difficulty with sensory response. Difficulty in communication means that some of them may not be able to speak or when they speak, you may not be able to understand their pronunciation. Some of them may not be able to understand spoken language and they have to use gestures and sign language. Some talk but may have issue with volume. Some scream, others whisper. On social skills; as children they don’t play with anybody, they stay on their own; they don’t play appropriately with toys.
“It’s not anything to be ashamed about. I am urging parents to stop hiding these children. Some of these children have been allowed to starve to death, some are dumped and abandoned, some have been pushed to the streets as crazy people and that’s not right. Bill Gates is a person with Autism and it shows that every child is a gift from God.”