allAfrica.com met with the organization’s founder and autism expert, Rosine Duquesne Kamagaju who gave insight into the learning difference.
Autism is a innate learning difference characterized by repetitive behavior, difficulty socializing with others, and an aversion to certain sounds and touches. Typically children are diagnosed at one and a half to 3 years of age by mental health specialists.
Early education, often called early intervention in the United States, is something Kamagaju stresses that every child with autism should have to better acclimate to society. As she said to allAfrica:
“An autistic person feels like they are in another world, not in real society,”
But with the right type of individualized learning, children on the spectrum can go far. Some might be able to one day live independently, depending on the severity of the learning difference.
Currently in Rwanda one percent of the population has autism. While this spectrum disorder can effect both girls and boys, boys are fine times more likely to develop the neurological difference. But above all, Kamagaju wants people to understand that autism is just like any other learning difference.
“Autism should be treated like any other disability as they (autism patients) have the ability to do different things like normal people,”
The original article by Philippe Mwema Bahati on the AllAfrica website can be read here
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead