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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Autism Speaks: Mentally Challenged Children Get Love, As Organizers Call For More Awareness

One of the most pervasive myths that surround autism is that a child who has it will never show affection and can’t accept getting affection from anyone.

Such myth and many more were put to rest on Friday April 13th at Kenneth Dike Library, Awka, as the Anambra State Government in Conjunction with the America Autism Association invited the in a seminar workshop tagged  "AUSTISM SPEAK AWARENESS DAY".

The reason for the program according to the organizer, Mrs Ify Enekwechi, Fmr. SSA to the Governor on Special Education, is to help the parents understand the condition and to support anyone in Anambra State with autism.
Autism which is celebrated worldwide every 2nd of April, is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.

The Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, speaking through his representative, Dr Charles Nworah, SSA Special Duties, said the Gov. Willie Obiano  through his administration has given special attention to individuals with special needs because there is ability in disability.

Mrs Enekwechi who emphasized the need to show more love and care to autistic children, explain that lack of affection is what pushes them away from human and draw them close to domestic animals. “They are friendlier with animals, domestic ones like dog and cat” she said.

Refuting the public notion that Autism is a disease, she said, “Autism is a disorder that can manifest on anyone at any given age but one is save from 46 years and above”. 

Given example of Bill Gate and Vladinam Putin as popular individuals who were once autistic, Mrs Ify Enekwechi , assert that with proper care and early intervention, the condition can be control.

In the same vein, Philanthropist, Chief Emeka Igwe who made a realistic donation to support the program, said that the world will be a better place if everyone come together lto bring succour to those in need.  

Igwe used the opportunity to announce his forthcoming free medical outreach on 25th and a special program on education by September with 50% of it going to students with special needs.

Chief Igwe called for an increase in awareness because this affects us all, one way or the other.

Hon. Willy Nwokoye, the Principal Secretary to Gov. Willie Obiano, also reiterate the need for proper enlightenment, saying it is the first step towards addressing the issue. He praised the effort of Mrs Enekwechi in putting the event together, saying that such effort directed towards a common purpose gets the attention of the government. 

Other speakers who took time to talk include;  Lady Joy Ulasi, Chairman, post primary School Service Commission, represented by Mrs Nkiruka Nkechukwu; Mrs Okeke Patience, Principal, Special Secondary School for the deaf, Onitsha; Mr Uche Nworah, Managing Director, Anambra Broadcasting Service.

Other guest present includes: Prince Obinna Ndigwe; Elder and Mrs Ndife Afamefuna; Chief Vincent Okoli; Peter and Paul; Dr Vera Okecchukwu; amongst others.

The highlight of the event was the artistic display from students from the Special Secondary School for the Deaf.

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