*Deal only with Certified Behaviour Analyst, Mrs. Ndolo counsel’s
*The prevalence rapidly increasing she warns
By Daniel Tyokua
Autism Awareness Walk aimed at creating necessary awareness on the pains, prevalence and early treatement has been scheduled to take place this Saturday in Enugu.
The walk which begins at 7:00 am will take off from Okpara Square st Independence Laylout and go through some major streets in the city, with participants distributing leaflets containing information on the causes, characteristics and management of Autism.
The walk will be the conclusion of a month-long Autism Awareness Program launched by the Chinze Behavioral Group, an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) consulting firm, to sensitize the residents and visitors to Enugu state and beyond about Autism.
In an interview with The AUTHORITY, Mrs. Dicta Ndolo, who is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), and the senior Behaviour Analyst of Chinze Behavioural Group, defined autism as “a neurological developmental disability which affects one in 87 children.”
She added that “The prevalence is rapidly increasing, according to the United States Center for Disease Control. Universally, the awareness of, and availability of the treatment technology for autism is poor, and more so in developing countries”
She disclosed that her mission is to alert people about the characteristics of Autism, with the expectation that armed with this knowledge, families can get their affected children early intervention sooner.
Mrs. Ndolo said that the most effective treatment is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), which uses behavioural principles to address the deficits of each affected child.
She explained that her team evaluates children with autism, design an individualized treatment program for each evaluated child in collaboration with parents and school staff, train teachers and parents to implement the program, and provide electronic follow-up to ensure that it is implemented with fidelity.
However, she advised parents to be careful when seeking ABA therapy for their children, and equally urged them to ensure that they are dealing with “a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), a Board Certified Associate Behaviour Analyst (BCaBA), or a therapist who is under the supervision of a BCBA or a BCaBA.
“Otherwise they may run the risk of falling prey to some people who tout themselves as Behaviour Therapists who may end up doing more harm than good”.
As part of her month-long awareness program in Enugu, Mrs. Ndolo had featured on Radio Nigeria program ‘Media Link’ on June 16th, and SOLID FM 100.9 on July 5th in Enugu.
This Saturday’s Autism Awareness Walk in Enugu metropolis, will be the climax of her awareness campaign in Enugu state, over which she is inviting everyone to join in the road walk.