OUR MISSION

 

To develop, implement and support vital activities that raise awareness and result in improved access to education and other supports for children with autism and other special needs living in Africa today.


VISION STATEMENT


We envision a world where all children with special needs will be able to access the supports and services needed to insure that they will be able to enjoy a high quality of life and be active and valued members of their communities.

GOALS FOR 2020-2022


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To develop and implement the student summer training program for at least two children with ASD living in Africa. This will involve bringing each child to the USA for 6 weeks for a comprehensive evaluation, education, and parent training program.

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To continue to provide programmatic, clinical, and financial support in order to sustain the autism classroom started in Liberia in 2018.

 
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To participate in a global autism summit bringing leaders and educators in the field of autism together to conduct training as well as join together to develop strategic initiatives to insure lasting and sustainable change.

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To develop and implement an internship program for individuals living in Africa in the area of autism education. A one year internship will be established in the USA for at least 2 individuals.

 

WHY THE NEED:


The World Health Organization has recognized autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as a growing public health concern. (WHO, 2013). Unfortunately, most of what we know about ASD, its incidence, treatment, and outcomes come from high income countries. Kieling, et al., (2011) describe this problem as a “90-10 divide”. That is, 90 % of the world’s children live in low and middle income countries, yet only 10 % of the research is conducted there. One concern in the Sub-Saharan African countries is that there are even more factors that could lead to ASD than in higher income countries. These include exposure to mercury, malaria, prenatal stress and other high rates of infectious diseases.

There are few if any diagnostic facilities in most African countries. Very little is available in terms of treatment or interventions. Sadly, many children with ASD are locked away, even tied up, and even killed. Parents often resort to these drastic measures because they have so few options and often fear the stigma that is so pervasive across many parts of Africa.

Autism is typically diagnosed between 2 and 3 years of age. In Africa, if a child ever gets diagnosed, it typically doesn’t happen until a child is 8 or 9 years of age. In many parts of Africa, healthcare workers and families frequently attribute the features of ASD as being brought on by a curse or being possessed by an evil spirit.

There is a critical need to raise awareness about autism across Africa. Research is very clear that the earlier a child with ASD receives treatment, the better the outcomes. It will be critical to educate healthcare workers and the community in general about autism and to support the development of education and training centers.

 

READY TO FIND OUT MORE?

We empower all persons; abled and disabled
to be change agents