Children with autism have strengths and abilities
Caregivers of kids with autism, who behave differently than other kids, request communities especially parents to stop keeping these children isolated, rather to treat them like others by giving them learning supports as they are as smart and gifted as other children.
Autism, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
Children with autism can learn and solve problems in a variety of ways.
Some children with autism could need a lot of support at daily basis, other might only need a little help and in some circumstances could even live independently.
Some people confuse autism with magic, behavioral issues, and mental disease as a result of culture and lack of information.
In Rwanda, a large number of autistic children are kept at home and rarely taken to school.
The more they adhere to them, the better they learn, according to Evas Kyomugisha, Founder and Director of Silvel Bells International School in Kigali City, which enrolls some of these kids.
She asserts that autism is not an epidemic, contrary to what some people who isolate and confine kids to the home, fearing for their future.
According to Kyomugisha, they collaborated with the Global Autism Project to a training for 30 regional child protection workers so they could thoroughly explain autism to the general people on the ground.
These district employees benefit from the training by learning more about autism, its symptoms, and the ways in which parents can support a kid who is in such autistic conditions.
“Whoever has this illness is well cared for and contributes to the development of the country.” she remarked.
According to Rachel Harmon, Director of Training for the Global Autism Project, schools like Silver Bells play a crucial role in educating kids and fostering community growth.
Because of this, she explained, “we are working with Silver Bells to teach different people so that the isolation that is imposed on persons with autism can be totally eliminated in Rwanda.”
The training enable them to recognize children with this illness and know how to help them, according to Diane Iradukunda, acting director of NCDA’s Child Development, Protection, and Development Department.
According to Iradukunda, they continue to face significant challenges from parents who keep their kids locked up in their houses and refuse to let the authorities know they have children with disabilities so that they can be taken to school and receive medical care.
She stated, “We cannot ignore the issue of attitudes in families because there are still children at home whose parents refuse to let them go, claiming that no one else will keep them, and refusing to let outsiders know.”
Currently, there are no statistics showing the exact number of Children with Autism in Rwanda, and they are assisted together with other Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).