In those days and maybe even now, the uneducated or superstitious would say they are demon possessed, others refer to them as witches, the “educated” but uninformed may refer to them as abnormal, or maybe disabled or mentally retarded, but we call them SPECIAL.. and they are Special
These children are indeed special. Beyond the difficulties they and their caretakers or parents face, these children are a true source of joy to the heart. They make you smile, they make you laugh, they make you cry and they make your wonder how great God is. An expectation of birth comes with gladness that is immediately dwindled with the sudden realization that the child carried for 9 months may have a developmental disorder that would affect his/her quality of life. Some of these disorders such as Down Syndrome which is caused by an abnormality in the genes may be detected at birth while some others cannot be detected prior to birth.
Developmental disabilities are a group of physical or mental conditions that children may present with as a result of an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. They have a low to average Intelligent Quotients (IQ) and may have difficulties in social and communicative behavior. Learning and teaching proves a herculean task for the children and teachers respectively.These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning and may improve as the child grows older but usually last throughout a lifetime. Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth because of injury, infection, or birth complications, trauma to the brain etc. Early detection and intervention play key roles in helping children with developmental disorders. Usually a delay in speech, motor and physical development may indicate the presence of such disorders. Parents and Teachers need to consult professionals in the field of special education should they observe a delay or disturbing behaviour or symptom.
You may ask how does this concern me. You probably feel you have other problems to deal with. Whether or not you are directly involved with children with developmental disabilities, you have a role to play.
Firstly, these children are often stigmatized and labelled by society because they are considered different from the norm. They are excluded from mainstream education, holding a job is even more difficult and people believe that they have no potential. Parents may also be frustrated and may not give the necessary care, love and encouragement the children need. Every member of the society needs to learn to accept their differences as unique qualities, after all we are all different people, even twins have observed differences. This is a call to accept and embrace children with developmental disorders as Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, Learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and other disorders.
Secondly, people are not aware that these disabilities are genetically caused. Like the title suggests, some people feel they are demon possessed or witches and that’s why you need to help in spreading the word.
Did you know that Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon had Autism?
They have great and unique potentials
They need YOU.
They need ME.
They need LOVE.
Be their VOICE.
Happy Global Autism Awareness Day.
Always remember, they are Special Children!
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