Before Christmas, ask what foods your autistic child, friend or neighbor can eat and cater to them. Some also enjoy the physical touch of loved ones through hugs, tickles, cuddles, and gifts.
As Christmas mood gets high, Autisme Rwanda, a school dedicated to educating autistic children has got them excited and happy, in the organized party to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The party that featured cake cutting, dance and singing was held at Autisme Rwanda offices in Kigali City on December 23.
“They know people who show them happiness and can understand those who hurt them, and run away from them. Give them happiness and joy in this festival season and other days. They need it, like anyone,” Rosine Duquesme Kamagaju, Director of Autisme Rwanda said.
“It is not a curable condition (autism), but it can be improved when a child gets care. Show them love, they are capable of doing many things and need your love,” she added.
In a colorful event, autistic children entertained guests by singing and dancing, reading letters and pronunciation of some words. It was attended by parents, well wishers and various officials from rotary club Rwanda.
In Autisme Rwanda, there are 36 children. They range in age from 2 to 15 years old.
Developmental impairment known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is brought on by variations in the brain. People with ASD may struggle with confined or repetitive activities or interests, as well as social communication and engagement. Additionally, people with ASD may learn, move, or pay attention in various ways.
“Parents with autistic children lacked the knowledge necessary to care for them. The public was unaware of what autism was. This motivated me to build a facility in Rwanda that could care for them and spread knowledge about this “mystery” illness, she said.
The cause of autism spectrum disorder is unknown. There are certainly numerous reasons given the disorder’s intricacy and the fact that symptoms and severity vary. Environment and genetics could both be important.
The World Health Organization estimates that one in 160 children worldwide suffers from an autistic spectrum disorder, with Sub-Saharan Africa recording the majority of cases.
“It is a time of sharing unity, kindness and love. We need as many partners as possible. Children with autism are there, many and some are hidden. Some parents call it witchcraft,” Dr. Jean Baptist Habyarimana, Head of Mont Jali Club, an organization dedicated to fighting autism said.
According to Dr. Habyarimana, Rwanda lacks information on the prevalence of autism and has a poor level of parental awareness, which demands for a national awareness campaign.
Autisme Rwanda began operations at the beginning of 2014 with five kids who had already tested positive for autism from reputable facilities.
“Having a healthy child isn’t a guarantee. Enjoy it, and thank God, if you have them. Equally, autistic children have potential, take care, love them and thank God. They can pursue their important future,” Claude P. Yohan, a parent, said.
“Their teachers are amazing. They shape autistic children into people you had never Imagined. My child’s condition has greatly improved. He can take care of himself and his brother’s life. They love and care for others,” Yohan added.