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Group seeks enhanced parent-caregiver synergy for autistic children

By Nkem Nwaosu, Abuja   |   21 January 2015   |   11:00 pm  

IN order to enhance a better understanding of children with special needs, a group, Dickens Sanomi Foundation, is seeking to educate parents and caregivers on how best to manage the behavioral pattern of autistic children.

  The Executive Director of the foundation, Keji Graham Douglas, said they are empowering and impacting useful information about autism on both the caregivers and parents and also to educate them on how to deal with it in the Nigerian community. 

  The organisation said that their mission was to make both the parents and teachers connect as a family with the autistic child.

  Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. 

  Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. The signs typically develop gradually, but some children with autism will reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress.

  The Academy in a statement said: “We focus on examining the diagnosed child’s complete environment inclusive of nuclear and extended family, to increase positive behaviours while reducing negative behaviours through the use of behavioural maintenance and empirical research based in theories of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Marriage and Family Therapy.”

  One of the organisers, Sabrina Omega, said: “I have worked closely with children between the age of 1.5-8 years old with the autism and related disabilities, applying behavioural analytic (ABA) techniques that creates program designed for skill acquisition, improving daily living skills, and reducing negative behaviours.

  “My greatest joy is in training parents and caregivers in understanding how to better manage their child’s behaviours and closing gaps in their developmental delays and that every parents with a special need child will be empowered to rearing their child to their fullest potential.”

  Another, Harlens Mitchell, added that “ I have devoted my time and efforts in improving the quality of life to those directly and indirectly affected by the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and have discovered that my passion is helping individuals accomplish feats that were once deemed impossible.

  “Through the use of Applied Behaviour Analytical (ABA) techniques, I strive to bring about positive change and growth to those who have special learning needs. Moreover, I believe that given the right environment, an encouraging support system, and an atmosphere of love, those individuals that society has given up on can strive to do unimaginable.”

  A parent Mrs juilet, gave her experience as a mother of an autistic child. 

  She said: “Am a special needs mum, have a child with autism we are all connected and we have a special bond as regarding what we are dealing with. As for the teachers we are connected to you for your patience and passion and I encourage both the parents and the teachers to use the Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) as we train and educate both the schools and the parents, also to build a relationship around the child as a family,” she said.



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