Government must give scholarships to autistic children

The Hopesetters Autism Centre has appealed to government to develop a scholarship scheme for autistic children to encourage poor parents with such children to educate them.

Mrs Baaba Enchill, Proprietress of the Centre, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said most parents of special children do not enroll them in special schools due to the huge financial burden it had on the families.

Mrs Enchill indicated that even though special care centres like her outfit existed to help and train such children, their care was expensive for poor parents and as a result most special children had been left alone at home instead of being in school.

She also regretted that most of the established centres for special needs children were in Accra, Tema and few other cities making it virtually impossible those in rural and peri-urban areas to receive professional care like their peers.

She therefore called on government to build affordable schools for special needs children in every region to provide effective education for them.

Mrs Enchill encouraged parents and relatives with children with special needs to do their best not to shirk their responsibility but read a lot about the condition to be able to give them the best of care.

She also urged parents to observe their children for early detection of autism as early detection helped in their training adding that a child with poor social skills, difficulties interacting with others and difficulties with communication could be an indication of a special needs child.

Other indications are restricted repetitive activities or interest, abnormal response to sensory issues such as sound, touch, light and smell.

Some children with traces of autism also show aggressive or self-injurious behaviours such as head banging or biting themselves.

She advised parents of such children to immediately see a paediatrician for advice.

April 2, is observed annually as World Autism Awareness Day. Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects the way a person views and interacts with the world around him.

Persons with autism have difficulties in the areas of social interaction, communication and imagination. They also prefer sameness, consistency and structure.

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