• April 16, 2024
  • Last Update April 16, 2024 4:29 PM
  • Nairobi

Kiambu County commemorates World Autism Day 

Kiambu County commemorates World Autism Day 

Kiambu,

Wednesday April 3, 2024

KNA by Sylvia Wanjohi

Kiambu residents have been called upon to learn more on autism disorder, understand it and also not shun those affected.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder of a diverse group of conditions.

It is characterised by some degree of difficulty with social interaction and communication affecting how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and also behave.

Agape Special Centre, a community-based organisation dedicated to helping the differently abled children in the community held an Autism Spectrum walk and Panel talk to educate and create awareness on ASD for Kiambu residents.

During the panel talk at the Kiambu Community Hall, Director of Agape Special Centre, Nancy Njoroge said it was important for the community and households to know more about ASD for early detection and also management.

 She encouraged dialogue and proper initiatives between the caregivers and the County Government that aims at enhancing the lives of those affected by autism through empowering them.

She specially urged the caregivers in Kiambu to assist those homes that have people affected by the ASD in seeking medical guidance especially once one has been diagnosed.

“I call on each and every one of you here, if you know someone who is suffering from Autism to persuade their caregivers to take them to a special needs centre where they will get adequate care from professionals instead of keeping them in the house,” Ms Njoroge said.

            Jacinta Bacha, Nominated MCA for Kiambu for people living with disability and who has been at the forefront of supporting them, lauded the centre’s efforts to educate the public on Autism and assured them of the county government’s support.

 “As part of the County Government you have our support. In fact, there is a bill at the County Assembly Known as The Kiambu County Persons with Disability Bill, 2024 which is gaining momentum as an important legislation and if passed into law, it would establish a framework to safeguard the rights of persons living disabilities in Kiambu County,” Bacha said  

Ms Bacha also added that she is in talks with the Safaricom Foundation to build a school for people living with disability in Kiambu County that will be fully equipped and cost friendly.

 “I understand that special needs schools can be expensive, that is why I am in talks with representatives from the Safaricom Foundation to build a school for people living with disability in Kiambu that will be cheap and fully equipped,” Bacha said

 She further announced a modelling event for caregivers and people living with disabilities that will be held by the end of this year. 

 “I urge all caregivers to please come out in large numbers and participate in the event once it is announced. Let us come and celebrate with each other,” Bacha said.

 According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of autism is estimated to be around 1 in 68 children but Autism Society of Kenya (ASK), a parent-driven organisation believes it could be up to 4 percent, or one autistic child for every 25 children.

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day marked annually on April 2, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about autistic individuals throughout the world.

This year’s theme is ‘Empowering Autistic Voices,’ which aims to provide greater support and empowerment to individuals with autism, enabling them to lead meaningful lives and pursue successful careers. 

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