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(Nigeria) 'Understanding and accepting people with autism is crucial'

April 6, 2024, Peoples Gazette: Hospital to introduce support group for autism awareness 

“Understanding and accepting people with autism is crucial.”


The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Barnawa-Kaduna, says it plans to introduce a parents’ support group to raise awareness of autism.


The medical director of the hospital, Prof. Aishatu Yusha’u-Armiya’u, disclosed this to journalists on Saturday in Kaduna on the sidelines of the celebration of the 2024 World Autism Day.


According to her, the day is observed every April to create awareness around the condition, celebrate the strength of those with autism and try to make more people aware of it.

She added that this year’s theme “Colour” seeks to end stereotypes of autistic individuals leading constricted lives devoid of dynamism.


The medical director added that the theme gave her joy, saying,” because children with autism are colourful and have a lot of potential to offer.


”Among them are the best mathematicians, statisticians and graphics designers, among others.


“It is our responsibility to pick out what they have, especially in sciences.”  . . .


 “We want to appreciate them and their differences, promote understanding and make the world a more inclusive place for those with autism spectrum disorder.


” We are creating the support group for them to be encouraged by sharing experiences and knowing the next steps to take.” . , ,


According to her, this is an opportunity for them to work together, help each other, share experiences, and extend and receive support.


” We want to start a support group here in the hospital where mothers meet ,share experiences since they have the same situation and to get encouragement to support each other. . . .


Ms Armiya’u said, “There is no cure for ASD, but there are ways to help.


” The key is to diagnose it early. Understanding and accepting people with autism is crucial.

”Everyone is unique and it’s important to respect their way of seeing the world.


” We will utilise them by bringing them into our skills acquisition programme where they can learn different skills.


”They include barbing, hairdressing, tailoring and embroidery, perfume, soap and bead making, shoes and bag making, art, weaving and knitting, library and ICT and indoor games.”


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain.


People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours or interests.


People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.



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