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“Nothing Could Have Prepared Us For Autism” | A Nigerian Mum shares the Story of Life with an Autistic Child

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The World Autism Awareness Day is in April and this year we reached out to families who caring for and nurturing children with autism.

BellaNaija heard Omolade‘s story and we were very inspired!

Sadly, there is still a stigma attached to autism in Nigeria. Lolade was willing to share her story to help educate the public and inspire anyone who is raising a child with autism. However, she maintained that she will like to maintain her anonymity and protect her family. We are very happy to share her story with you and we hope that you find strength and hope in it.

My name is Omolade Efe*, my husband and I are legal practitioners. We had our first child Justin* shortly after we got married and everything seemed pretty fine until my son was diagnosed with autism at 18 months. Before his diagnosis we were a bit worried about some things but nothing prepared us for autism.

Autism
The movie ‘Rain Man’ was pretty much all I knew about autism prior to his diagnosis and for me people with autism were like weird people who have a genius streak. I had some concerns with some behaviours (nothing significant in my opinion) during infancy but I was particularly worried about him not even babbling at 18 months. I had read a baby magazine that featured an article on hearing impairment in kids which made reference to some red flags and not babbling at 18 months was one of them. My mother had also expressed her concerns much earlier about him not responding to his name. She had asked me then to get his ears checked out but I didn’t think he had any problem with his hearing (he reacted to sounds).

First Diagnosis
Following yet another suggestion by a family friend to have his hearing checked, my husband and I decided to dispel this hearing issue once and for all. I took him to the hospital the very next day and what should have been an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist became a life-changing encounter with a consultant paediatrician. I remember telling her why we were there and I was certain she would dismiss my fears as ‘new mom palaver’. Then she started asking questions after questions and observing him closely, I instantly knew something was wrong. But ‘it appears your son may have autism’ was the farthest thing from my mind. There are no words to describe what I felt going forward from that moment, of course I cried and my brain went into over-drive. The only logical thing I did before leaving her was getting contact details of someone who worked with children with autism.

Our major concern at the point of diagnosis was no babbling or attempt at speech but with the benefit of hindsight, we can say that there were tell-tale signs all along. He was not a social baby, his face never lit up with recognition when I or his dad carried him. He never responded to his name but had a thing for music, he would perk up and crawl or walk wherever the music was coming from. He appeared pretty insensitive to pain; he could bump his head real hard and not so much as whimper. He spun around, flapped his hands, walked on the tips of his toes a little too often. He never had separation anxiety, we could come and go as we pleased. It was also unbelievably easy to wean him off breast milk. He took to cereal without a fuss but that was all he agreed to take until he was about 13 months. He got very excited around children but never played with them, he was fine just running around them. Quite odd huh? We had no clue!

Pre-emtive Measures?
I don’t know if there is some kind of test that can tell if one’s baby will be autistic during pregnancy. I had a very easy pregnancy and delivery as in pretty much uneventful. In my opinion, since autism largely affects behavior and social skills it may be quite difficult to tell at infancy even unless the case is so severe or comes with a medical condition like seizures. My son met all his physical milestones (sitting, crawling, standing, walking etc). On the other hand, my son was the easiest baby to deal with. I was back to work after three months and could comfortably continue breastfeeding exclusively until he was 5 months. He was rather laid back for a baby, not cheerful or playful but seemingly content in his company. He was an extremely picker eater as a toddler and took cereals for a long time (I know now that he was comfortable with the texture). His food choices depended on what texture appealed to him at the time so there was never a constant favourite. We went from the cereal phase to indomie to spaghetti to rice to fries. He is a little more adventurous now and would eye new dishes suspiciously, even sniff them before giving them a try.

What To Look Out For
You will always hear that every child with autism is different and it is very true but there are some general characteristics; some more pronounced or totally absent in others.

Some of which are:
• Displays indifference
• Little or no eye contact
• Indicates need by holding adult’s hand
• Communication difficulties e.g. delayed speech, echolalia
• Inappropriate laughing or giggling
• Sensitivity to sounds, textures, smells
• Engages in repetitive behaviours
• Unusual attachments to certain objects

While we are at it, I would like to highlight what autism is not.

Autism is NOT
– contagious
– a curse
– madness/ lunacy
– a disease; or
– a death sentence

Coping & Dealing With Autism
Raising a child with autism is no walk in the park. My first instinct was to find out much as I could about autism. Like I said earlier, prior to Justin’s diagnosis autism seemed like something that never really happened to real people. All I kept saying at the doctor’s office was ‘where do I go from here?’ Luckily for me, the doctor knew someone that worked with children with special needs and I took the contact details. There was the continuous internet search and all that stuck was ‘no cause, no cure’.

We initially put him in regular Pre-K to get him to relate with children his age but soon realized it was a waste of time and effort. The minders had no clue what they were dealing with and just let him be most of the time. We then made the difficult decision to send him to a special needs school just before he turned 2. It was difficult because other special children were much older and made us wonder about our son’s eventual outcome. A few months into it, there was some difference (nothing major) he was feeding himself, being made to maintain eye contact and he could stay put for a few seconds at a time (short attention span is usually an issue).

Patience is Essential
We had to learn to be patient, we were making gains but they took time to happen. There are so many things parents of neuro-typical children take for granted that we celebrate. My son was a picky eater and would choose foods based on texture and/or smell. So he usually ate 2 or 3 types of foods for a period, then moved on to something else. We had/still have food phases but I have learnt to work around it. You can imagine what toilet training would have entailed. We achieved total toilet training at 4+ and he said his first real word at 5+ (communication is still largely non-verbal though). We have had numerous bumps, ups, downs, lows and what-have-you but we appreciate where we are today and all the support we had along the way. One other thing we learnt was not to stress because we found that therapy worked but rather than niggle over desired outcomes, we prayed and things happened but not necessarily when we hoped.

Support Group
I had the opportunity to work with an organization that works with children with special needs and I immersed myself in that world for a couple of years. I wanted to know more, do more and I think it helped me a lot.
Nigerians are naturally curious and judgmental so yes there is stigma that stems from the fact that your 5 year old should know better than act the way he is or that he isn’t interacting as he should or has that blank look on his face. Most times it is the disapproving looks or the occasional unsolicited tip on how to better handle my child or even a direct reprimand. Thing is, we are more in tune with him now and when we go out, we keep a very close eye on him and try to pre-empt any drama. We are by no means where we hope to be with his development but we have come a long way. Every parent of a child with special needs must develop a thick skin because their kids’ well-being trumps everything else. Many children on the spectrum have sensory issues so crowded noisy places or places with garish bright lights are not very advisable for them.

Parental Role
Family support is the first and the best kind and I thank God I had that to a large extent. As the child grows and new phases come up, it is important to have a circle or group of people that you can share experiences and relate with on that level. Some of the best information I have had over the years came from other parents and professionals in the field. I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog and a support group for parents of kids with autism to share home grown experiences and information.

Parents play the biggest role in this journey; from getting a diagnosis to getting help and keeping on track. We champion our kids’ causes, decide what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

It helps to stay informed and positive. Justin is lucky not to have any associated medical issues with his condition so he doesn’t take any medication besides vitamins and supplements. I maintain that early intervention is so important because you help the child learn or unlearn positive or negative behaviours respectively. For a child with autism, therapy should be incorporated into every waking moment. The pay-off may not come as soon as you would like but it will, eventually.

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons

Photo Creditmomntoto.blogspot.com

53 Comments

  1. Robos

    April 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Many Thanks for this info, God bless you for sharing. Can you kindly give some information on special need schools – i know of Learning place, are there others or therapists info you could share? Info will be highly appreciated. Many Thanks

  2. annonymous

    April 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I can well relate to this. My nephew had exactly same characteristics which we started to notice when he was about a year old. We did not think it was anything serious…until he was just over 18 months and we took him for a check up…and thus began our journey. We did all kinds of test both home and abroad. A child psychologist started to work with him everyday from when he was 2 years old. Fast forward 3 years later today, he is a testimony to my entire family…. I honestly cannot explain what happened except to thank God. He is super smart, all those years he spent not talking, he is making up for it. His school grades has improved tremendously. He can do his maths assignments with little assistance, he can read. This may not seem like much to someone reading this but given where we started this journey from, this is a miracle. He is still reserved, but also very observant. He absorbs everything around him and has a memory that hardly forgets anything. I thank God everyday for him. Our very own living testimony.

  3. namegetmahand

    April 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    wow! so touching!!

    • Esosa

      October 4, 2016 at 9:21 am

      You are a brave woman. I perfectly understand the pain, isolation and despair you must have experienced in such an environment where Autism is not seen as an illness or disability instead it viewed as a curse for what parents might have done wrong. I am a Speech and Language Therapist based in the UK, I was a quest speaker in the first autism awareness powered by the Wow Divas in 2011. During my stay in Nigeria I observed how children with autism in Nigeria are locked away without appropriate resource. How people point fingers at parent as if to say parents are to be blamed for not able to discipline their children.

      You free to get in touch with me if you need Speech, language, communication or swallowing evaluation: [email protected]

    • Mrs Grace

      January 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      I’m happy I so these post cause now I believe that my son will be okay. I have a 5 year old child who is Autistic.pls,can someone help me with a contact number or address where I could get help for him.where he could go for an assessment and a very good special school where he could attend. So far, d ones I have seen in Abuja are mostly speech therapist.I stay in Abuja.pls, someone should help me out.

  4. Yewande

    April 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    There are a number of places that can deal with kids with special needs but it cannot be stressed more that early intervention is key. Also please if you are employing the use of a speech therapist or a behavioural therapist ensure their roles are identified as speech therapist deal with speech and behavioural deals with behaviour, don’t let anyone take on the role of the other as most people are not trained to do both but some people try and take on both roles and it does not usually work out. I have learnt from experience. Some in Lagos are acceleration therapy, dr Helen nwanze 08023151105 in yaba, Patrick speech and language center in ikeja dr Akande 08033019865, there is an autism directory where more information can be found. And some hospitals can give information also. Now more schools cater to children with special needs such as CIS, the learning centre, Lagos prep, greenwood house, corona and so on.

    • Robos

      April 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks…

  5. Sexxie

    April 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Touching! God will continue to strengthen this mother and other mothers dealing with this. But the silver linning is she has a genius in the making. My little cousin is slightly autistic so I can relate to this because I spend time with him, his early years were difficult, the boy could yell for Africa! For no apparent reason, he is 10 now and already in JSS 2, the most brilliant boy I know! Autistic kids start slow but once they pick up, there’s no stopping them. God is a wonderful God and almost all the time compensates parents of autistic children with geniuses in different fields…education, medicine, inventions etc.

  6. Sexxie

    April 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I think the stigma towards autism stems from the misconception of the difference between autism and down syndrome. Educating teachers and minders of schools for children with special needs adequately will help them deal with the pupils more effectively.

  7. Tess

    April 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Welldone for the courage to share your story and making every effort to help your child. As a mother I agree with you that our kids’ well-being trumps everything else, don’t let nasty comments or attitudes from others discourage, most are borne out of ignorance.
    I also want to encourage you to start that blog, you can never tell how big a difference your experience will make to someone else. May God help you on this journey, His grace is more than sufficient to see you through.

  8. Debby

    April 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    God bless you for the article. I had no clue about autism not until when a relative asked me to have my 1st son checked- he is 2yrs plus now, that he doesnt mingle with kids like he should and perhaps he blabs alot, one cant a word. he would not respond to his name and he has never called mummy or daddy on his own- you know the joy that comes with your child calling you “mum”. Potty training has been “hell” we have not achieved that yet, hoping someday. I have contacted a speech therapist who have scheduled to observe him in few days time, to know where to start from there. Till then ……. I can only pray for the best

    • Dee

      April 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      You know what you have in your hands, a very special child. You are to show the world what love means, and the strong everlasting bond that parental love can create, irrespective. My boss said to me a few days ago, that having children is one of the greatest and best surprises you will ever get. She was talking in terms of the sex of the baby, and the personality, attributes or even medical conditions that child will come with, you can never know, and you can never predict. It is one of life’s little miracles. We human beings may think we know everything, and situtations just come to remind you that there is an Alpha and Omega. So just forge ahead, you’ll learn more about your child each day and he/she will teach you how to interact with them, that’s the beauty of Autisitic kids. They almost force you to examine things a different way, convention doesn’t work with them so you go unconventional. They operate at a different frequency and you need to find that frequency and tune into it as a parent and you’ll discover the joy and rewards. Get to reading my dear, there is a lot of information out there, especially books wirtten by parents 9especially mums) of autistic children. Celebrate every small achievements other parents take for granted, and cherish it. You have a very very special child. Tell yourself that. You may even have a genius on your hands who knows.

  9. Dell

    April 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Waohhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! my husband has an 8yr old nephew that i just realised on reading this article that he is austic.i used to wonder why he laughs hard at nothing,doesnt talk,crazily clings to the mum ,he attends a regular sch and his the oldest in his class…i want to know if its okay for him to go to a regular sch or not cos am not so close to them like that cos when he was growing up,the mum always hid him from everyone so i just it was all the years of hiding him that makes him so frightened of people

  10. Anonymous

    April 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    As a mother to 2 children with autism, I completely relate to the experience of this Mum. Although I have to deal with several issues including initial denial from my spouse, my mother looking for anyone from the village to blame for what she percieved as “home trouble”, lack of access to local information on Autism, I believed that the welfare and life of my children trumped everything and was relentless in my search to get the appropriate help.
    I’m glad to say my kids are doing very well now, they have had some therapy and everyday brings a new miracle in our lives.
    I just want to add that the experts all agree that the key to beating autism is Early Intervention. I implore parents to be more attentive to their kids and if you notice anything odd, go see an expert. It might turn out to be nothing but at least you will be sure. Denial is one of the worst problem concerning Autism in children especially here in Nigeria. Like the writer said, Autism is not a mental illness or a death sentence! Some of the brightest minds in our generation are autistic Seeking help early in a child’s life can make a world of a difference.

  11. konnie

    April 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks Bella. this is one of the reasons i come to bellanaija daily. Quite educational

  12. konnie

    April 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    There is an Irish belief, that the mark of a good person and a kind soul, is one that has a developmentally challenged child…it continues that having a handicapped child means God’s trusts you with his very best. Yes, some of the most brilliant minds on earth have some form of disability. Love over comes all and God bless you all

    • Dee

      April 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Now, that’s an amazing comment. Wow.

  13. Bee

    April 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Love this….this is by far the only reason i come to bella naija, the stories are always so inspiring

  14. Sel

    April 24, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I watched a video about an autistic girls’ breakthrough on Facebook. She was finally able to communicate with her parents via the computer after 13 years. This was a girl who had never spoken a word. She just got up one day and typed the word ‘hurt’ on the computer. From them on her parents trained her in such a way that if she needed anything she would have to type it.
    Now the kind of things the girl writes is like a key into the minds of the autistic child. It shows she’s just a normal kid, but does not have control over a large portion of her brain. She writes that her body does a lot of things she doesn’t understand, like screaming, hitting her head and also being unattentive. She also writes about how sometimes she feels restless cos it feels as I’d her body is sitting on pins.
    She also said that her when she is a noisy place she hears almost everything at once, thanks she’s not able to process the information going through her mind, thus it makes her restless. She also mentioned that she has a heightened sense if smell and can distinguish between different scents no matter how subtle.
    Watching the video was a real eye opener for me, cos it made me realize that autistic children had the hearts of any normal kid, they are not in control of their minds and body as much as other people.

  15. B

    April 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    wow

  16. Nkem

    April 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this story. God is your strength.

  17. Adedayo

    April 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    OMG,Loveee this aricle
    I Am a behavioral Therapist with a concentration On Autistic kids
    Working this these groups of kids is not only rewarding but something amazing..They warm my heart EVERYDAYYYYY with how awesome they are…

    For me,been that am only 26,It takes work and something beyond patience to deal but at the end of the day,I would not trade my clients for anything else

    The best part—–for me–is when the parents pick their kids up from school and i see how loving these parents are ,how happy they are to see their babies despite their special needs..-Now that is always the highlight of my work day!

  18. Lala

    April 25, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I can honestly relate to this article… My lil bro is autistic too. First of all we were all wondering why he wasn’t talking or acting like other kids but after series of tests we were later informed he was autistic and sometimes it beats me how people tend to look down on these innocent kids because of their condition. My bro was enrolled into a special needs school in abuja where he started making little process cus even at age 7 he was still cooing like a baby so my parents decided to take him to the states for school and today I can say that his life has changed his speech is awesome his almos there and we are grateful to God for his progress. He now uses computers, iPads, fones, anything electronic he knows how to fix. Like this kids re the smartest you will be amazed at how intelligent they Are. At first it’s hard but with patience, love and support you will be able to get through it. Autistic and down syndrome kids need to be loved our society needs to be enlightened on this and that’s why am coming up with an awareness project to educate the Nigerian society. Finally, I pray God continues to strengthen this mother, u ve not done anything wrong God knows what he’s doing. GOd bless you and families that have loved ones that are autistic or down syndrome it’s not easy but it is easy IN Jesus Name, Amen.

  19. MRS ADEYEMI

    April 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

    VERY TOUCHING..

  20. Mz Socially Awkward...

    April 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Justin sounds like he is going to be a pretty amazing child and I know this because I can see that he has been blessed with a super-awesome mother. Thank God that you found out early, from what I’ve heard, early intervention is key and in no time, your child will settle into the developmental routine intended for his growth and simply wow you with his first of many achievements. Nurture the gift that you’ve been given and I pray your faith in God will continue to keep you strong and fill you with hope.

  21. Funke2

    April 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Great story + great comments, all these has got me thinking about my course of study at the University (Guidance and Counselling) which I’m not utilizing by teaching instead I veered into customer service where I don’t feel as accomplished as when I was teaching ….I hope to be back someday.

  22. teefah

    April 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Weldone mum, May Justin be a blessing to your entire household.The Lord is your strenght

  23. bussie

    April 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    this is so inspirational. I work in an environment where there are varying special children learning the basics but always, kudos to the mums! you are a rock! God bless u real good.

  24. Toyin

    April 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    WOW! Talk about knowledge and inspiration at the same time. Bella, I want to thank and appreciate you for giving people platform to share their stories where we can empathize, learn and understand you are not alone in this world. What I mainly love about his is, it’s allowing Nigerians to be more exposed, not be in a state of denial and most importantly learn how to deal with different situation they might be going through. Disability is all about finding ways to deal with it and make it a little better than it could have been if it was completely ignored.

  25. salsera

    April 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    great article, dont ever stop these inspiring stories

  26. Mike

    December 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    My son has same symptoms as the Op has mentioned and i will really appreciate if the op or bellanaija can link me up with the op,i am in Lagos and will appreciate special needs schools on the mainland.

  27. Ganiyat Akeem

    December 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    i am a mother of an autistic child , i am very thankful to
    God that his situation has defined unconditional love to me. more
    so autism is manageable , its a spectrum of disorder i had to learn
    some coping mechanism. hearing stories like this in My home country
    reveals the uncaring side of our government. i encourage you in
    Christ Jesus that he will see you through and you will have a great
    testimony. my son didn’t speak until age 3+, it was very difficult
    with no family support. i had to learn sign language but after all
    this troubles my little boy now speaks and his doing well. i
    acknowledge situations are very different in Nigeria. Nigerian
    government needs to strengthen the law on disability acts if there
    is any. (EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES) i often support mothers with children
    with special needs/autism in London. i am happy to share tips,
    resources and coping mechanism which can make situation manageable.
    To the best mothers/carers in the world parents who are caring to
    love and loving to care unconditionally i celebrate your resilience
    Humble Regards Ganiyat inclusion is what we need in de
    -stigmatization of autism

  28. Chastmier

    February 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I am grateful for this forum and opportunity to get insights, learn from parents and also share ideas and possible solutions. My son is 4+, is autistic and is non verbal. He looks normal but his behaviour can be perplexing and downright difficult. We live in Nigeria and getting the type of help needed has been difficult. My zeal to help my son in getting better led me to an article online that threw significant light about the ‘’Essentials of diet for children with autism’’ by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD and ‘’Can Autism be cured’’ by Mark Hyman, MD. These articles have really helped me a lot in learning PATIENCE and equipped my understanding about his condition. It opened my eyes to the various toxins we ignorantly pump into these kids with their meals and has helped me in creating a roadmap for recovery by just taking away what’s bothering my son and giving his body what it is missing and needs to thrive with his condition.
    I must say at first it was overwhelming. It was not easy, I was patient and I persevered. It was gradual but eventually he came around it. I started seeing results with His new natural diet, with Nigerian staples of course and also with a line of natural supplements that have really improved his sleep pattern, helped his behaviour, control his gut and inflammations.
    I hope these few insights helps and would love to share more with all. I can be reached on 08034917464.

  29. Imade melekwe

    April 3, 2015 at 12:05 am

    I have read every bit of your story and I am very touched on how you stood to see positive changes in your son. I am a child and youth worker. I had my studies in Canada. I am very experienced with working with children with behavioural problems and I help build social skills. I am working really hard to start something in my country NIGERIA to help create awareness so parents can manage well with their children. I hope to start real soon to help my country.

  30. Adebolu

    July 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Am so grateful to find myself in this group, now i know my son has a glorious future. But i need someone to help with gluten and casein free cereals available in nigeria heard its real help with autistic children.

    • Jane samson

      October 22, 2015 at 12:51 am

      Check out nutricentreng.com. She lives in logos and deals on gfcf foods, can deliver to anywhere. God, s grace

  31. lola

    August 14, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Am thankful to find this known , I av a son wt Autism I was discouraged to take him to a special school ,so l put him normal school ( he is doing pretty well but nt as expected) . I will grateful if anyone or bellanaija can link me up wt special school around Ikeja , I stay in Lagos agege to be precise . tnx

  32. sola

    September 15, 2015 at 6:22 am

    chisadvocates.blogspot.com/
    pls check out this blog- it’s a blog that talks about autism and other disabilities for African parents in the diaspora and home

  33. Patrick Oparah

    September 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Please i suspect my son has Autism but dont know how to go about it what can i do an can anyone recommend a specialist

    • Treasure therapy

      May 24, 2016 at 9:36 am

      After school, i was trained by a company owned by Dr Helen a special therapist for children with autism, iv done lots of work on autistic children and by the grace of God, there has been wonderful changes on those children, im more gifted in speech therapy with ABA, good with others too. we just moved to Asaba delta state and i dont know how to contact parents with children with autism, incase you are in asaba call me on 08069034703

  34. Lil

    January 10, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Hi
    I live in London my son is a special need child. Well looked after in London but to be honest I believe he can do better in a Nigerian school for special needs. This might come as a shock but don’t be, he is over pampered in his special need school here which is not helping him at all. He might not be able to live a normal life but I will like a life near enough to normal for him. Can someone recommend a school please.

  35. Abe

    March 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Hello, I have a 10 year old son that was diagnosed with Autism at 2+. We’ve come a long way and as Omolade said early diagnosis is the best. My son to the Glory of God is in primary 4 and goes to a normal run school that has a special needs section (CITA Int’l Port Harcourt). Outside of school we have a behavioral therapist that works with him – 5 to 6 times a week, and a speech therapist that comes in every Friday (courtesy the company I work for). There is a tremendous improvement in interacting with people and initiating conversation. As noted in the article you cannot help but celebrate every milestone.
    I’ve been looking for a support group to join to share ideas as right now I need someone to help me with possible secondary schools that can cater for his needs.

    • Mum J

      July 6, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Hello Abe,
      I have a 7 year old with some of the characteristics in the story shared. It was difficult getting help earlier because of our location but I believe God relocated us at the right time. My son attends Cita International School too and I must say they are doing a tremendous work there at Cita.
      It will be great to start a support group so parents can share ideas and information.
      Please I will like to get the contact of the behavioural therapist that works with your son because I feel I need to do more to help me son. Thanks in anticipation of your prompt response.

    • Evrlyn

      July 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Please I need contact of any speech therapist in portharcourt for my son. I stay in portharcourt. Thanks

  36. justlooking

    July 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    My niece has autism and it was discovered after she turned 1. My brothers wife however believes it was someone from our family that ‘cursed’ her child. We are all just looking at the silly girl and shaking our heads. I wish I can forward this article to her but if I do now she will say I am witch or something along those lines. I know her husband is always on Bella I hope he forwards it to her.

  37. Gilbert Amaka

    September 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    WoW…….what an awesome article.I’m impressed the mum is going all the way for her son. I am a speech and language therapist. I have been trained to handle children with autism and learning disabilities.I am based in Port Harcourt.You can contact me for assessment and evaluation and possibly take on ur child. Creating abilities in disabilities is our watch word. 08036604190.

  38. Gilbert Amaka

    September 12, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I have handled and still handling children with autism and learning disabilities and God has been awesome on the turn out the parents of this children are seeing……. I’m a speech and language therapist.call on me for evaluation and assessment and possibly taking on ur child.08036604190

  39. Gilbert Amaka

    September 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I have handled and still handling children with autism and learning disabilities and God has been awesome on the turn out the parents of this children are seeing……. I’m a speech and language therapist based in Port Harcourt. Call on me for evaluation and assessment and possibly taking on ur child.08036604190

  40. Annmarie

    September 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    This article came at a time when I am at a crossroads with my 13 years old daughter in primary 5who is autistic.she just does not want to have anything to do with books. Your article has given me courage to continue to search for possible alternatives to help her achieve the best. I feel alone in this world of raising an autistic child because of the stigma.but I won’t change her for any other child she’s the only one who looks at me and say “mummy I love you” it’s comforting to know that I am not alone and that we can overcome.

  41. MRS FEMI

    January 4, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    i have a 3and half years daughter wit autism and i live at ijebu area of ogunstate pls inid an autism schol addres around even if it is boarding in a not to far city pls time is going

  42. Ayodele

    May 15, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I must commend every parent with an autistic child cos its not easy raising one. In life u dont know who you really are until u are faced with a challenge to cope with. My son Dipupo is 4yrs n autistic, I must confess its not been easy. He is yet to say his first word, still blabs, restless, hyperactive, screems at every little thing, never plays with his peers except his little sister(until recently though) n so on. We didnt discover on time, infact we eventually did mid last year after several tests. At a point we were advised to go for an Audiometry n we even bought hearing aid on the advice of a doctor. After diagnosis we were advised to get a speech therapist to work with him which we did. He attends normal school as I couldnt get information about special school until now that I stumbled on this article. From all I have read I think the best for any autistic child is to enrol such in a special school. Ayomidipupo is improving everyday thanks to the mother who on her own works with him to attain eating, toiletting, removing his clothes and wearing his shoes all by himself. Every parent with an autisc child should be prepared for the task cos it requires lots n lots of patience, care n attention. An autistic child should not be locked inside rather they should be allowed mingle with their peers. They need love n attention. They are not to be yelled at, or punished for evry little thing they do. Give them tasks to do n u will be surprised at how happy they would be wen they fulfill it…With this article I now know we(me n my wife) are not alone, Pls go ahead with the blog thing as it would help alot of people. If anyone notices any child with such impairment pls advice the parents to go for early diagnosis as its better to face it early….For parents who cant afford private hospitals, public(some general) hospitals have provision for Autism…May God take timely control on every Autistic child IJN but pls the blog is veryvery important so we can reach out to more parents out there that they are not alone. Am really looking forward to more comments on how we can reach out to more parents facing same issue, I am very open to any activity or support that can help.

  43. Titi

    September 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    i feel encouraged reading this story, getting a school for my 5 year old son around ijaiye- tollgate .Please anyone with useful information

  44. Stanley

    July 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    My Son Chibuikem is 3+ and struggles to speak. He actually says anything he wants to say at his own time. reads numbers 1 to 20, recognizes and says colors and shapes. The issue is he only says them when he wants to say them and not when asked. His teachers grade him when he begins to repeat all they said in class at his own time. He call me Daddy and his mum, Mummy. He equally calls his younger brother baby and kisses him all the time.. My problem is why he cannot say it when asked. It all started when he was 2(he started well – responding to questions) and all he does now is complain and shout and refuses to learn anything. Is there any special diet I can give him or any special school in Por tHarcourt I can send him to?

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