We Identify Ability In Autistic Child, Nurture It To Blossom - Mkpang - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

We Identify Ability In Autistic Child, Nurture It To Blossom - Mkpang



About 100,000 children are living  with autistic disorder in Nigeria, according to research.

And due to low knowledge and awareness of the condition, coupled with the stigma attached to it, parents or caregivers' willingness to seek professional help for their autistic children may also be poor or delayed.

Autism, is a childhood developmental disorder, according to Ita Mkpang; a Clinical Psychologist, and affects three key areas - social interactions,  communication and language skills, in the lives of children with the condition.

Mkpang who is of the Clinical Psychology unit, Neuro - Psychiatric Hospital(NPH), Aro, Abeokuta, told The Daily Crucible, that  children with the condition have problems relating with others, engage in stereotype, repetitive and compulsive behavioural pattern.

He also identified poor speech development, emotional impairment, ritualistic and self - injurious behaviour, flapping of hands and head nodding as other syndrome of autistic disorder.
 
The Clinical Psychologist who spoke on the sideline of this year edition of World Autism Day, however, said the good news is that autistic children have been found to demonstrate remarkable skills in drawing, painting and music which could be harnessed and developed to make them productive members of the society.

He noted that early discovery of the condition and reporting same to appropriate health professionals with appropriate treatment and management regimes such as behaviour therapy, speech therapy and phototropic medications could go a long way in alleviating or managing the syndrome associated with autistic disorder.

He said: "The fact that a child has autism or autistic disorder does not mean there is no good part to it. There is strength in autistic child or children. They can  learn and do learn well especially the Asperger  syndrome which does not impair cognitive functioning.

"So, we look at the ability in autistic children, harness and develop them so that they can blossom and live independently with little or no supervision. They are known to be talented in drawing, painting, music," Mkpang said.
    
Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta

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