What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a medical disorder; a complex neurobiological disorder which typically lasts throughout a person’s life. People with autism spectrum disorders struggle with social and communication skills and many have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to sensations.
Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to other people, and how they make sense of the world around them. People with autism experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. They see the world differently and experience or express happiness, sadness, anger and other sensitivities differently.
While all people with autism share certain difficulties, this condition will affect each autistic child in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives, but others may have learning and behavioral disabilities that means they need constant help and support.
Autism in Nigeria
Today, one in about 100 individuals is diagnosed with autism in many countries, Nigeria inclusive. We have lots of children and adults with autism in Nigeria, but sadly there are very little statistics to show the gravity of the affected children. Thanks o campaigns by individual and organizations however, Nigerians are slowly realizing the reality of ASD..
More often than not, the causes of ASD are unknown, and many living in rural areas with the disorder are said to be possessed or mentally retarded because they exhibit behavior that is considered odd and misunderstood by the people around them. Naturally, this brings about some fear and stigma associated with autism.
What you can do
The information and awareness of autism in Nigeria is very sadly pathetically low. It’s extremely important to familiarize ourselves with the early signs of autism in children in order to give these children a chance at a normal life. There is no cure for autism as of yet, but it can be treated and managed, and the key is early detection.
Know the signs
If your child r a child you know exhibits any of the following signs, consult a pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.
Where You Can Get Help*
Autism Associates | 1, Bode Thomas Street, off Bode Thomas Road, Onikan, Lagos. | Telephone numbers: 018506353, 07028193870.
National Society for Autism, Nigeria. | The Zamarr Institute, LEA Nursery & Primary School, Patrick O. Bokkor Street, Off Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja. | firstname.lastname@example.org. | Website: http://www.societyforautismnigeria.org. | Tel: 08098143671.
Nwatu Autism Foundation | No 4, Idowu Rufai Street, Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos. | Telephone number: 08058458995 | email@example.com
Healthcare Assessments, Aids and Training | Chase Mall, Suite B5, No. 19A, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. } Contact numbers: 018434486, 08140790095, 07084476737, 0044-7941069461 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthcare Assessments, Aids and Training | 19B, Sunyani Street, Wuse 1, Abuja. | Contact numbers: 018434486, 08140790095, 07084476737, 0044-7941069461 | email@example.com
*We will continue to update this list, so feel free to bookmark the page and check from time to time.