Introduction for International Autism Awareness Guest Blog

Guest Blog for Introduction  to International Autism Awareness

AUTISM
Hereditary or Environmental Disorder
Authored by Dickson B. Nyongesa
bwire.dn37@gmail.com
Nairobi Kenya,
East Africa.

Introduction for International Autism Awareness

Autism has been defined differently with misleading theories, myths and observations in both traditional and the modern world of science and technology. People commonly believe the etiology or origin of autism is genetic or environmental. In broader aspects and relevant fact findings, here is the truth behind Autism.


Autism is among the five disorders that fall within the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) in the modern science. The five sub-division of PDD are Asperger’s Disorder, Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Not until Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and Rett Disorder (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2000).


These PDD disorders are associated with severe and pervasive deficits in several areas of development such as social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleeping and gastrointestinal disturbances.


Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art. In some instances, Children with autism might develop unusual attachments to objects and resist some changes in routines.

Apart from these unique characteristics and the lack of normal development of language, children with autism do not manifest any different characteristics from typical developing children (Powers, 1989). While procedures for screening, diagnosis and treatment has increased in recent years in developed countries (e.g. European Union countries, and The United States of America), there is little or no available research in Africa continent.

This has left children with Autism to be abandoned in other African countries in claims that they are associated with bad omen.

In an effort to change the notion in Kenya, East Africa, research had to be conducted to understand the difficulties that parents, care givers and special needs providers encounter as they experience the diagnosis, and treatment of autism in Kenya. 39 parents, caregivers and 11 special needs providers were participants in this study.

Emerging of eight themes were established on how parents, care givers and special needs providers encounter as they go about in the diagnosis and treatment of autism disease in Kenya. The themes which were put into perspective were; limited research, lack of awareness, lack of treatment protocols, cultural factors, the lack of institutional/government support, lack of financial muscles to treat children with autism, isolation and broken families and lastly ,social stigma.

While all this contributes to the increase in Autism in other Countries, here in Kenya Autism Spectrum Disorder rarely is recognized.

Before this, children on the spectrum were beaten, hidden away, or killed because it was believed that they were possessed by demons. It’s true that most of the behaviors of these children are quite abnormal and misunderstood but they are rarely violent or evil.


Fortunately, over the past few years autism awareness has slowly spread throughout the country. Global Statistics shows that 3 in 90 children will be diagnosed with autism, it’s even scarier to know that more children will be diagnosed as autistic than with cancer, aids, and diabetes combined.


Autism manifests itself before the age of three years, even though it varies in the severity of symptoms, age of onset, and the presence of different features, i.e. mental retardation and language delay (Autism Society of America; National Research Council, 2001;Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).

Specific criteria must be met for one to undergo Autism diagnosis; but overall, a significant impairment in communication and social interaction must be present, as well as restricted repertoire of interest and activities. Retardation of mental process is commonly present, as is uneven development of cognitive skills.

Behavioral symptoms are also common here, and mostly range from self-injurious behaviors to hyperactivity and tantrums. Some have difficulties in eating and commonly experience sleeping disorders. According to Ginker, 2007, approximately 25% of children are diagnosed.

You can donate and find more information here:

Autism link and learning.

Thank you for reading this awareness blog, and we welcome international discussion. Please comment on this thread to promote an open dialogue.

18 thoughts on “Introduction for International Autism Awareness Guest Blog”

  1. This is a terribly important post and I was happy to see some information get out via an article like this on the state of autism in today’s societies. Depending on where you are in the world, there is not enough attention all the way to no attention being paid to it at all. That has to change.

    Pervasive Development Disorders covers a wide swath of maladies, but autism is one that often is not supported by the national organizations to the extent that some others are. For whatever reason, whether cultural or otherwise, this is the case.

    Your suggestion that we all work to get the word out and more attention and money for the subject of autism so research can take place is a good one. I support this wholeheartedly, and it comes from having a sister who has a son who is suffering from autism. I know more needs to be done.

    Reply
    • Dear Dave,

      My heart goes out to people living with Autism and their families. I had the guest blog from a connection on Linked In. Dickson is very articulate and cares about his community. I felt honored to get an inside story on how this impacts an impoverished nation, as well as those with more wealth endowed. The problem exists on all planes, and I wanted to honor a scholar with Autism but not identify without their permission. I am hoping people will respond interest and share stories like yours here. I cannot thank you enough for this feedback.

      Sincerely,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  2. Hi! This has been an interesting introduction to understanding autism. It’s sad that in some countries of Africa this condition is associated with something shameful or even evil. But I believe most parents struggling financially should receive medical advice concerning how to help their children with autism. That of course represents a challenge for third world countries.

    Reply
    • Autism Got Talent!

      I hope you enjoy this song. I agree with you. Autism can make the world less inclusive and can be devastating just based upon culture. I think the awareness is important. Thank you for visiting my website!

      Sincerely,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  3. This post has definitely touched my heart. I have personally known a young man that had autism. Unfortunately, he has recently passed but I have definitely learned so much about autism during those years. Autistic children always bring so much joy around them as they are always so happy and cheerful and full of so much love. I always tried to understand where they get all this love from in this mean world.

    It is so sad that in some African countries these children are abandoned and even being killed. It is sad that so many people are uneducated about Autism and the necessary love and understanding that is required. We can only hope one day that much will change and the hearts of all will be opened to their needs.

    Reply
    • Dear Stacii,

      I agree the awareness and willingness for helping this cause will be a great benefit because I can imagine the tragedy as you describe. I found this affiliate on LinkedIn and he was very glad to put the information out there to help their issues. It is amazing the support can go a long way. My guest blogger is a true philanthropist. Thank you kindly for reading and caring about Autism.

      Kind Regards,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  4. My son has been going through some tough times lately and I am almost certain that he has either ADHD or has Autism and I’m really worried!

    He has been tested quite a few times for both but the results always come back as if there’s nothing wrong!

    Both I and my wife know there is something wrong but the “professionals” say that he’s fine.

    I refuse to believe that just one person can judge my son and say that he is ok when he clearly has anger and frustration problems

    If my son has trouble expressing his feelings and keeps himself to himself, do you think that he might need a bit of counselling?

    Thanks if you can help,

    One Worried Parent!

    Reply
    • Dear Matthew,

      This is not a substitute for medical advice. But follow your instict. You can always ask another health care professional. Some of the best counseling is free from church leaders who also study the art and science of mental with spiritual health. I hope this helps. Thank you for your interest and support on this very important topic. Autism awareness is essential for the greater community.

      Have a good night, and perhaps it is a phase. After having 7 natural childbirths and raising kids, I can tell you ” normal ” has a wide range on a spectrum as well.

      Sincerely,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  5. This is a very interesting post on the characteristics of autism.

    My Neice was diagnosed with autism when she was 12. Even though you could not tell by looking at her, she has many of the symptoms you have described below…

    She’s going on 15 now and finally settling into her school work (been a long road)

    I really hope she keeps this up and in time, I hope she learns to integrate her autism with her unique personality.

    It was really sad to hear about African children being diagnosed with Autism. I’m really glad that awareness is increasing within the content.

    Regards, Jeff.

    Reply
    • Dear Jeff,

      I found it intriguing as well. Guest blogs are a good way to present new blog topics. I think building awareness is great, and enjoyed bringing culture dynamics for.your consideration. I think it is sad, too. The joy is in extracting some type of picture for improvement. And, like a Brazilian Samba a hint of sadness lends to beauty. I think how great it will be to see new trends because autism is a rare form of brilliance. I think what a lucky niece, to have a caring family like you.

      Kind Regards,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  6. It’s quite shocking that until recently children with autism were considered to be a bad omen and were apparently ostracised. Much of the information you posted is most likely new to most people, so you post may prove beneficial to most people visiting your site.

    Personally, I would be interested in knowing if the rate of autism is as great or the same in Canada as opposed to other countries? Also, is autism genetic? In other words, is a child has autism, will that child’s siblings be more apt to be born with it? 

    Reply
    • Dear Ray,

      I found it shocking as well. The rates are half as frequent as America in Canada, but I could not find a good resource for statistics. With the change of diagnosis and incidence of undiagnosed cases, I cannot say for sure. I am still looking for information on genetic inherited condition.

      I think when you focus on learning a specific condition, you can be surprised what you learn along the way. There is no standard of testing that is universal, and the cultural differences can be difficult to determine if methods used are applicable or relevant to a different part of the world. 

      https://www.focusforhealth.org

      Here is an interesting article with some information about autism disparities. I hope my notes find you well. Thank you for visiting and asking perplexing questions. I appreciate that a lot.

      Happy Friday to you!

      Kind Regards,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  7. Thank you for sharing this with us. I never knew how many children were in involved when it came to Autism, and I wonder how many are misdiagnosed. 

    My daughter who is now 30 years old was diagnosed as having ADD she wasn’t hyperactive but did not pay attention as she should for her age. 

    We went through all the medication and all the things that come with ADD just to find out a few years ago that she is what has been said as slightly autistic. 

    I appreciate the fact that you would create awareness for people. It greatly touches my heart. Thank you.

    Blessings,

    Lynda

    Reply
    • Dear Lynda,

      It is truly a great honor and privilege. You are quite welcome. Attention Deficit can be a key factor that makes life difficult for people affected by Autism. I wonder the same. It is an ongoing area of research. With advancement in understanding and knowledge. It improves positive action as like a ripple effect. If many people start splashing at once, these ripples become monumental waves.

      Take care and thank you for sharing your experience for everyone who may benefit. Maybe someone in a similar position can take comfort they’re not alone. Bless your heart!

      Warm Regards,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  8. As a barber I run into so many children who are diagnosed. I have had the pleasure of witnessing majority of the spectrum from the highly intelligent type who can’t hold a conversation all the way to the hyper repetitive behavior type. They are all great kids upon meeting them so it kinda hits hard when you hear some of these kids are being killed, and mistreated.

    I will help spread this awareness so that people can be properly educated on recognizing, and dealing with autism.

    thanks for posting

    Shannon

    Reply
    • Dear Shannon,

      Barbers see so much in society. My hair doesn’t grow anymore, so they don’t see a lot of me. You raise great points, that hits my heart like thunder. They are greats great kids, all kids deserve a fighting chance. I found that a crying shame, and will invite Dickson for revisions and updates ongoing. I hope my notes found you well. Have a great night, or day if it is day time in your home region.

      There are many talented people with Autism and the awareness can dissipate stigma.

      Thank you for your input.

      Kind Regards,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply
  9. I’ve been around autistic children before and their behavior is quite interesting. I’ve never witnessed any bad behavior from them. They act like normal kids except that they get distracted easier and they may act somewhat eccentric, just like you mentioned in your article.  I agree that it is quite scary that every three out of 90 kids are diagnosed with autism. I have absolutely no hate against autistic children and accept them for who they are.     

    Reply
    • That is a great way to look at things. I appreciate your reading our work as well as offering your experience.

      Thank you so much & kind regards,

      Nurse Becca

      Reply

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