A medical practitioner at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Dr. Araba Abakah says it is a great blessing to give birth to an autistic child and wants other parents who have given birth to autistic children not to yield to societal beliefs and biases and discriminate against their autistic children.
Autism is a pervasive disorder that involves abnormal development and function of the brain. Because people with autism show decreased social communication skills and restricted or repetitive behavior patterns or interests, they are “unfortunately described as a curse and discriminated against”, a situation that contributes to their exclusion from people. 1 in every 68 children is affected with autism or related disorder, more prevalent than breast cancer or childhood diabetes.
The mother of a 4 year-old autistic male child and founder of Autism Action Ghana, a prominent health based Non Governmental Organization in Accra was speaking in an interview on “the management of autism and autistic people with this reporter. The discussion centered on the retrospective effect of World Autism Day which fell on April 2, this year and measures that must be implemented to effectively manage autism situations well.
Available statistics indicate that there are 500 autistic children in Ghana with 10 out of every eleven cases being males. Interestingly, “about 56percent of autistic people do not have a learning disability and this makes the situation more blissful”, she said.
Dr. Araba Abakah now has a network of parents who have autistic children, adults who have autism and stakeholders who have the management and care of autistic people at heart working to better the lot of autistic people in the country.
She is calling for governmental and societal sponsorship to enable her NGO its health objective effectively.