An Autism expert, Miss Omolara Ajayi, on Saturday appealed to parents, guardians, individuals, corporate organisations and the governments to support, show love and care to people living autism.
Ajayi, also the Project Officer, Ike Foundation for Autism (IFA), made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
NAN reports that IFA is an NGO established in 2008 with the aim of assisting people living with ASD to achieve their full potential and live productive lives.
She spoke ahead of the 2017 Autism Day scheduled for April 2.
According to her, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurological disorder that shows up in the first child’s communication and social functioning.
“Some people feel autistic children are possessed and that they cannot contribute anything meaningful, but that is not true.
“In some parts of the country, they are abandoned and neglected, but these children need our help, love, care and attention.
“But with the right intervention and diagnosis, children with autism can be effectively managed,” she said.
Ajayi also stressed the need for more awareness in the urban and rural areas, adding that many were still ignorant of the disorder.
She said that the foundation has plans to create awareness in Niger and Nasarawa.
The expert said that the cause of autism could be environmental and genetic-related factors.
Ajayi said research had shown that people with autism have gastro-intestinal disorders, food sensitivities and many allergies.
She said that though autism was a rare case, those with the disorder would be attended to in the National Hospital Abuja.
According Mayor Clinic, an online publication, ASD is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.
“It also includes restricted repetitive behaviours, interests and activities. These issues cause significant impairment in social, occupational and other areas of functioning.
“The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.
“The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is rising.
“It’s not clear whether this is due to better detection and reporting or a real increase in the number of cases, or both.’’
Mayor Clinic also said that while there was no cure for autism spectrum disorder, intensive and early treatment could make a big difference in the lives of many children.