ASSOCIATIONS MARK WORLD AUTISM DAY
The United Nations General Assembly designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day to create awareness of the condition that affects one in 150 children worldwide.
On April 2, 2010, Patricks Speech and Language Centre, Children's Development Centre and Golden Hearts Touching Lives Initiative organised an Autism Awareness walk supported by National Autistic Society of Nigeria and Zamarr Institute under the umbrella of The Autism Concerned Group.
About 100 participants made up of parents, adults and children living with autism, caregivers, teachers and well-wishers gathered at Onikan Stadium and walked to the National Television Authority, Lagos, with a stopover at Silverbird galleria. Fliers containing basic information about autism were distributed to passersby. From there, they proceeded to the Palms in Lekki where fliers were outside the mall and dropped at a few shops.
According to the organisers, apart from creating awareness about autism, people were encouraged to bring out their children and give them the love and support they deserved to help them adjust to a difficult world (from their point of view) and become as independent as possible.
'The first step is to acknowledge the condition and then expose the children to various teaching and other therapies to help them manage the condition as best as possible.
'Above all, early intervention is the key – the younger children are when they start treatment, the better their chances of making more progress in life,' they said.