A special month for special people

April is Autism Awareness month and on 2 April the world united to acknowledge World Autism Awareness Day.

The United Nations General Assembly declared the day to highlight the needs to help improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by autism.

Autism South Africa national education facilitator Vicky Lamb said during April, they followed the Light It Up Blue Campaign to try and raise awareness about autism.

The organisation is there to offer support to autistic individuals by directing them towards any services they may require.

“Many adults are not diagnosed and so often look for someone to diagnose them.

We work with many families whose children have just been diagnosed and often those families need support in finding school placement but also in coping with their child in their home environment.

There are many misconceptions about autism. People tend to think that it is a childhood disorder, however autistic children grow into autistic adults,” explained Lamb.

She added that autism manifested very differently in people. Often people believe that if you can talk then you cannot have the disorder. However autistic individuals are able to communicate.

“Autistic people need assistance from the medical sector as well. Often there are other common conditions such as epilepsy, ADHD and others that require assistance from experienced doctors, pediatricians, psychologists and psychiatrists,” said Lamb.

She said society needed to learn more about the disorder because without awareness, intervention cannot be done. Early intervention with autism is critical.

Details: Autism South Africa 011 484 9909.

Naledi Mokoena

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