The Department of Family and Consumer Science at the University of Ghana has announced plans to promote awareness of autism from July 19, 2021, to September 05, 2021.
The awareness is aimed at educating the public on the challenges and the benefits of early diagnosis of autism to aid in the treatment in children.
Patron of Family and Consumer Science Department, Dr. Justice Owusu Bempah decried the absence of a structured plan in the educational system to specially cater for the needs of children suffering from autism.
It is in this light that the UG Family and Consumer Science department have launched the autism awareness month to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and discourage discrimination even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the Campus Exclusive, Dr. Justice Owusu Bempah briefed the public on what the disorder is, and how the ignorance of Ghanaians has resulted in its delayed identification.
Autism is a disease or a syndrome. If we say autism, we have subtle up to the severe ones. The severe ones is what happens sometimes when right after givjng birth and people will tell you that you’ve given birth to “nsuoba” or something because it’s a neural syndrome. It’s a deficiency to the spinal cord and the brain and it affects socialization. The children are unresponsive and they do their own thing. They have something that they’re fixated on and that is what they do. Such children are special in sense of the way they came to this world. As a nation, take our educational system, I can tell you that there is no planned education for such group of people.
Dr. Justice Owusu Bempah mentioned that people tend to disassociate themselves from children suffering from autism and that leads to social stigmatization.
Autism is with us. The only thing that is hindering or has not brought this thing forth is because we don’t have the knowledge of autism. So we sometimes brand such children with all sort of names because of our culture beliefs which creates an idea. I want children with autism and anyone with it to know that they’re not in this alone even though we don’t have social systems to support them so they’re kind of left by themselves. So the students launching this one gives be some excitement.
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