The Centre for Child Development Referral and Research (CCDR) has observed the 2019 World Autism Day with a call on society to show love and care to children with autism.
The internationally recognised day is celebrated globally on April 2 every year after being adopted by the United Nations to create awareness on people with autism spectrum. The 2019 celebration is on the theme “Assistive Technologies, Active Participation”.
Procession through Some Principal Streets of Cape Coast
The Centre marked the day with a procession through some of the principal streets of Cape Coast to create awareness on the need to improve the quality of life of children and people with autism so they could live full and meaningful lives as integral members of society. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read “Autism is not a curse; Those who judge don’t understand, those who understand don’t judge; Don’t compare me with other children; All children have different abilities; Embrace differences; Shine a light on Autism”
Addressing the media, the Dean of the Faculty of Educational Foundations, Prof. Eric Nyarko- Sampson, said the Centre was observing the day to bring to the attention of the general public that children with autism, were not evil. He explained that “Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental condition that generally shows before age three and affects the way children speak, interacts with others and behaves. They may like to do the same things over and over again.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said parents with such children should not neglect them but support them to cope with life. “Managing children with autism can be very disheartening but these children are human beings who also need care and love like any other child,” he added. He urged parents to bring their children with autism to CCDRR for support and individualized educational intervention. He assured that the Centre has specialists who would assess their children and equip them with the requisite skills to develop their potentials.
Seek Assistance from CCDRR
The Head of Department of Education and Psychology, Dr Irene Vanderpuye, advised parents to seek assistance from CCDRR and called on the general public to do away with the misconception about children with autism. “Some people think children with autism have mental illness or are mentally retarded. Children with autism are human beings like us, they are not sick but it is the condition that makes them different,” she reminded. Dr Vanderpuye reiterated the call on society to accept and support children with this condition to live a meaningful life and also become responsible individuals.