Create Conducive Environment For People With Autism to Thrive – NAWOJ South South Advocates

As the world marks Autism Awareness Day 2024, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, South South Zone, has called on members of the public to create conducive environment for people living with Autism to thrive.

The Vice Chairperson of the Zone, Comrade Stella Macaulay and the Zonal Secretary, Comrade Eunice Emeyazia made the call in a statement on Tuesday.

The NAWOJ Zone F leaders noted that people living with autism and their guardians face a lot of challenges daily, as most Autism patients have socialization, communication hand interaction problems.

They described the theme for the 2024 celebration “Moving from Surviving to Thriving: Autistic Individuals share regional perspectives”, as apt, as it calls for a change in focus ” from dealing with autism to creating an environment in which autistic people can thrive”.

The Zonal leaders called on members of the public to show more empathy in dealing with such special children and stop all forms of discrimination, bearing in mind that people with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.

The statement stressed the need for increased awareness on how to care for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD, since it has no cure and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment.

They said reports have shown that some children show ASD symptoms within the first 12 months of life, while in others, symptoms may not show up until 24 months of age or later, adding that some children with ASD gain new skills and meet developmental milestones until around 18 to 24 months of age, when they stop gaining new skills or lose the skills they once had.

They urged parents and caregivers to accept those living with autism the way they are, educate themselves more about autism, figure out what triggers their disruptive and positive behaviors, look out for non verbal clues of communication and connection, and above all ensure they took care of themselves to stay emotionally stable enough to meet their childrens special needs

The Zone F leaders also appealed to the government to provide more schools for children with special need so that they would not just survive, but learn and thrive

They enjoined everyone to play their role in reducing ASD symptoms and supporting development and learning.

The World Autism Awareness Day is a global healthcare event celebrated on the 2nd of April every year, to create awareness on acceptance, support and the inclusion of autistic people, and to advocate for their rights.

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