We are in need of specialized services from qualified people in Autism Therapy to come in as volunteers at our centres both in Mbarara and Kampala.
Justification for Volunteers’ interventions
There are no services for children with autism in the whole Country. Parents and caregivers have searched for possible interventions but have ended up frustrated. Quack interventionists have taken advantage of the absence of appropriate services and robbed the desperate parents and caregivers.
Autism itself has posed a challenge to not only the teachers but to a cross section of the para-medics who confuse it with intellectual impairment or mental illness and children with autism have ended up in schools/ units of children with intellectual impairment or mental health hospitals.
Because there are no identified services, some parents have ended up neglecting children their children with autism and a few have either been physically abused or even starved to death.
Across the Country, there is only one University that offers Special Needs Education and disability related courses but courses on autism interventions are yet to be started. Parents and caregivers will have to wait as the children outgrow.
It is well documented that quite a good number of children with disabilities and other special needs are still not attending school in Uganda despite the government’s call for Universal Primary Education. Reasons for this, among others, is a limited number of trained/ specialized personnel that are able to identify the special needs of the children and provide or give advice on the appropriate interventions including rehabilitation services. Children with autism are no exception.
The trained therapists will therefore help train parents and caregivers who will in turn support their children with the therapists’ guidance.