Autism Botswana educates Batswana (Botswana Daily News)

| September 1, 2015

Autism Botswana in collaboration with Camphill Community Trust conducted an integrated pilot project for early identification and intervention for children with Autism in Kanye recently.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterised, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviours.

Ms Maletshwane Mauco, Behaviour Analyst Consultant from Autism Botswana stated the organisation encouraged parents to identify children with autism and bring them forth to relevant stakeholders so that they can be able to receive special care and attention they require.

For her part, Health Education Officer from Kgwatlheng Clinic, Ms Khumoetsile Pelokgosi noted she has observed that there is a lot of negligence towards children with this condition since their parents’ especially youthful parents are afraid of stigma from the society. She said due to the stigma such children are left with grandparents.

Most of such kids miss monthly weight monitoring program as well as immunisation since they are being hidden from the public eye thereby denying them the right to be monitored if they are growing well or not, she said.

Ms Pelokgosi advised parents to refrain from making their children suffer at the expense of societal misconceptions and take responsibility in making sure that their children are not denied any of their privileged rights, be it health wise, educational rights or otherwise.

Ms Kutlwano Seeletso, 31years, a parent who has a 5 year-old daughter with autism said she realised that her child was challenged when she was 18 months.

At first she was learning to talk but later on, she couldn’t utter a word, then I took her for ear check-ups where they referred us to a speech therapist, said Ms Seeletso.

Ms Seeletso mentioned that having a child with Autism is challenging since it requires a lot of emotional support as well as funds. She suggested that there should be awareness campaigns which will educate parents and the general public about the disorder.

She explained that the main objective of the workshop was to empower parents and guardians with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on how to help their children to be able to fit best with their potential.

She said it is a project funded by Non-State Capacity Building Programme which is financed by the European Union in the framework of development cooperation with the government of Botswana.

Category: Governance

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