Autistic children get aid
A NON-PROFIT making organisation, Whispers of Comfort has opened a new technology suite in Bulawayo to cater for children with autism.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterised by impaired social interaction, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted repetitive behaviour.
Whispers of Comfort founding trustee Mrs Tina Norbury said the technology suite has a computer laboratory with 14 computers where under-privileged children with learning disabilities will study.
“We have a different way of teaching, we believe we should not change an autistic child but change teaching methods.
“We have put in tools in the form of computer software that help them to achieve different tasks,” she said.
Mrs Norbury said in most instances, children with autism were not included in activities as many people were not sure of how to handle the affected.
“It is not easy to diagnose it, which means some people live with autism and they are not known.
“This is one of a kind in the country, as we can see well wishers are assisting various other causes and disabilities but silent on autism,” said Mrs Norbury.
Children with autism usually delay in their stages of development such as speaking and walking.
They are also sensitive to light, noise and they do not like being in crowds.
She said when parents notice odd social behaviours in their children they should seek assistance from a speech and language therapist as it may be autism.
“At certain stages of growth, a child should have achieved certain milestones and when they do that it is important to seek help.
“With autistic children they tend to like one particular toy over others, they play alone and they present as shy children or very naughty children.
“This is a way of expressing themselves and a cry for help too,” she added.
Whispers of Comfort aims to partner with speech and language therapists in the city to refer children with signs of autism to the resource centre.
(Monday to Friday) 6-6.30am; 1.15-2pm; 5-6pm. Weekends: all other times remain the same except for the evening which changes to 4-6pm.
MATER DEI Hospital: All wards: (daily) 10am-12 noon; 4.30-6.30pm.
CLAY BANK (Pvt) Hospital (Gweru): Morning: 10am-11am. Evening: 4pm-6pm (Daily, weekends and holidays).
KWEKWE General Hospital: All wards (Monday