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.


International Women’s Day

Today we honor all the women! There are so many women, around the world, who are trying to take care of their families, with little or no support. They are mothers, sisters, grandmothers, and daughters. You are all my heroes. I hope, on this special day, you are treated with kindness, and receive support from your community and strangers.

Thank You! 🙌

I am so grateful for the outpouring of support from around the world!  Our dream of opening a day program for  individuals with autism, and other special needs in Sierra Leone is finally getting it’s legs.

The interviewing and assessment process has begun and its looking very promising.  The banners, tables and chairs are complete, and the staff have been hired. Everything is coming together so nicely and it’s making me so happy!

In other news, Junior and I went to see the movie Black Panther on Saturday.  Jr was very excited to see all the people dressed in their African outfits, as he was wearing one too.  The movie was so good!  The most important lesson to learn from Black Panther is that regardless of your education, or social status, you should preserve your culture and traditions while embracing the culture of others.  You don’t have to give up your African culture and traditions just to fit into Western culture!  We have a diverse and beautiful culture that we can introduce others to and they will love it.


JPOH Panther.jpg