Autism NGO calls for increased awareness to avoid stigmatisation

The founder of the group, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ibadan.

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NGO calls for awareness to avoid stigmatisation. play

NGO calls for awareness to avoid stigmatisation.

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A public interest Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Amazing Heritage Special Programmes, Ibadan, has called for increased awareness on autism in order to avoid stigmatisation.

Rev. Enoch Yirenkyi, the founder of the group, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ibadan.

NAN reports that the NGO specialises in handling the cases of children with Autism and Down Syndrome.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder, characterised by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, restricted and repetitive behaviour.

Yirenkyi said that autism as a lifelong disease with no known cure, required support to improve the quality of the life of its victims.

He said that autism awareness had become important due to the number of children with the condition and the attendant stigmatisation.

“In our society, autistic children rarely get the needed attention and care that they need.

“They are often misunderstood or mistreated by family members and the society because of inadequate information or misinformation about the ailment and its management.

“Due to ignorance and low level of awareness, these children are often stigmatised and discriminated against.

“Public education on autism will greatly help to reduce the misconceptions often associated with it,” he said.

According to him, when family members and the society are well informed, they will accord autistic children with the necessary support and care.

He said that autistic children needed proper treatment, which would offer them a respectable life that would help them live well.

According to him, like other children, autistic children have a right to education, health, participation and proper treatment.

“They need proper treatment that will guarantee them respectable life and ensure their rights to express themselves.

“While there is no cure for autism, research shows that early intervention and treatment can improve a child’s development.

“Early intervention service helps children from birth to 36 months learn important skills including talking, walking and interacting with others,” he said.

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