KANYE OKEKE, CHANGING OUR PERCEPTION OF AUTISM IN NIGERIA

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As the world marks every April 2 as the world autism day, people are yet to come to terms with the term autism or the plight of autistic kids and more importantly parents don’t know where to seek help or how to identify autism. Kanye Okeke, a child that is autistic can be described as a poster boy for autism.

In a deeply religious nation like us,most of the kids with autism can either be neglected at home, bullied in schools or the worst case blame it on some witches and the child subjected to a whole lot of Spiritual exercise and experiment either by the parents or clergy .

The lack of understanding of autism has always been the bane of the society. We must start defining and identifying autism. It can be said to be a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. But scientific studies have shown that autistic children are very creative and should be supported .

Kanye has gone across the world to win international prizes in art works. His art works adorn various museums in Europe and a testament of what an autistic child cam do.

Though, Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in countries like USA, we are yet to have a clear position on the percentage of autism. With various awareness , there are care centres today that caters specially for these gifted children. The key is early identification.

Anthony Emeka Nwosu

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