Africans & Autism

Early detection is always best.  I consistently try to convince the African immigrants I meet residing in the United States, that early intervention is the best we can do for our children.  Many people in Africa are still not convinced that autism is a neurological disorder.  Some believe it may stem from supernatural causes.

Dr. Muideen O. Bakare’s Current Situation of Autism Spectrum
Disorders (ASD) in Africa – A Review, highlights a lot of these issues.

It’s definitely worth a look. Click the highlighted link above.

The section on negative cultural belief and practices, really hit home for me

Negative Cultural Beliefs and Practices

-Research finding observed that the aetiological basis of
ASD is still being explained by supernatural causes
(Bakare et al, 2009b).

-In Africa, witchcraft, demonic afflictions, evil spirits are
common acceptable mode of explaining aetiology of
ASD and other childhood NDD.

-Individuals with ASD and their families are often faced
with rejection, negative and derogatory comments,
further promoting stigma.

– To avoid stigma, families tend to hide away the
affected children from the society. This may lead to late
presentation and diagnosis of the disorder among
African children”.

There is so much help out there!  Don’t’ hesitate to reach out! Junior’s Place of Hope is here to help you navigate the system. (805) 604 – 5512.


Published by juniorsplaceofhope

Junior's Place of Hope was started by Henrietta Bassey. She is a devoted mother to her 27 year old son who has autism. She has done everything in her power to help create an environment that will accept her son and others who have autism and other special needs. They deserve to live in a society that treats them with respect and dignity.

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