Stakeholders call for more awareness about autism – Capital Radio Malawi
17 July, 2024

Stakeholders call for more awareness about autism

The country on Saturday joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Autism Awareness Day, with stakeholders calling for concerted efforts in raising awareness about autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually recognised from early childhood.

Speaking during the commemoration that was held in Mzuzu, a concerned parent, Lydia Kamuyanga, said many parents who have children living with the condition are not able to offer them necessary support due to their lack of knowledge about it.

She lamented that some of the parents are keeping autistic children indoors which she said is dangerous as it further retards their development.

“Every parent needs to provide essential care to children with autism and allow them access to special needs education.

“As a parent with an autistic child, I am dedicated to raising awareness about it. If more people are aware about autism and other developmental disorders, we can begin to break down the misunderstandings and stigma that surround the condition,” said Kamuyanga.    

Clinical psychologist for St John of God Hospital, Frank Magagula, said that awareness is key to creating a more inclusive and supportive community for people with autism.                        

“Let us work together in creating a more inclusive and supportive world for everyone, and we should continue coming together to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day to make a real difference in the lives of those affected by this condition,” Magagula said.

Director of Hopeview Resource Centre, which is implementing special education to neuro-divergent learners and young people, Rebecca Mtegha, stressed the importance of providing education to people with autism, saying they too are able to learn, regardless of their condition.

This year’s commemoration was held under the theme “Moving from surviving to thriving: autistic individuals share regional perspectives”.

By Tracy Mtegha

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