02 April 2021 by Chris Nyamtu
Health Experts and Care Givers in Nasarawa have advocated for establishment of a Special Agency for management, treatment and care for Autistic Children to enable them attain their full potential.
The experts also stressed the need for increased awareness campaigns as most children with Autism in the state were being neglected due to their condition.
Autism is a permanent genetic developmental disorder from the brain which affects the ability to communicate and interact.
A Paediatrician at the Special Baby Unit, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital Lafia, Nasarawa State, Dr. Toafik Oluwaseun explained that Autism can be diagnosed as early as six months to three years of birth if the child is unable to respond to eye contacts, verbal and non verbal communication as well as repetition of one thing.
Dr. Toafik Oluwaseun who stated that Autism which is a disorder that is not curable, stressed the need for early diagnosis to access care and management rather than attributing the condition to spiritual attacks and witchcrafts.
Radio Nigeria visited Government Special School Lafia where 25 Autistic Children were undergoing therapeutic management.
According to the Head of the school, Mrs Baerbel Jaja, most of the children had been rejected by their parents as a result of their condition.
An Autism Therapist, Mr Yahaya Kumo pointed out that due to lack of awareness, most parents find it difficult to identify themselves with their Autistic Children.
He called on government at all levels to initiate special intervention programmes aimed at providing care for children with Autism to give them a sense of belonging.