Parents urged to seek therapy for children with autism

Parents have been urged to seek supportive therapies for their children with autism in order to improve upon their quality of life.

A health professional, Ms Wilhelmina Minnow, said speech, language and behavioural therapies go a long way in improving brain and body language of children with autism.

Autism, also called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complicated condition that includes problems with communication and behaviour. It can involve a wide range of symptoms and skills. ASD can be a minor problem or a disability that needs full-time care in a special facility.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times ahead of the World Autism Day celebration, today, April 2, Ms Minnow advised parents of special needs children to never lose hope and keep focusing on engaging their special children in various activities that would make them mentally active, and improve their overall well-being.

“Autism is not a curse, there are ways children with autism could be engaged to ensure they live better lives. Do not pity yourself as a parent of such a child. You should rather do more research into how you can assist your child or children who have autism to live comfortably,” she said.

She explained that children with autism also deserved to be shown unconditional love and more support.

“If we want to make the world a better place for children with autism, discrimination against such special children should not be encouraged because it would rather make their condition worse.

“Love and compassion is what these children need, not just from their mothers but from all of us. Let us all ensure we create a better world for these lovely ones,” she added.

Touching on the challenges of persons with autism, Ms Minnow, who is also the founder of Rumibeth Foundation, a non-profitable organisation focused on health advocacy, said depending on the severity of the condition, people with autism could have trouble with communication, making it difficult for them to use words or gestures to express themselves.

In furtherance, she dispelled misconceptions among some superstitious members of the public, especially rural dwellers, that all people with autism had spells cast on them at birth, and therefore must be abandoned and left to die.

She also called for a more inclusive educational system in the country to support persons with autism, or other forms of disability.

April 2 is set aside worldwide to mark the World Autism Day in efforts to increase awareness about the condition.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU

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