Medical &Health

Inclusive approach suggested to address challenges of autism

DHAKA- Stephen Shore, a US citizen who engaged himself in providing suggestions to fight challenges emanating from autism spectrum, underscored the need for an inclusive approach with special needs to address this disorder suffered by the children in the world.

To help the autistic children overcome such a challenge and grow with potentials like others of their age, intensive home-based early intervention is a prerequisite to the upbringing of such kids through music, movement, narrative and imitation, he observed.

Shore, who despite being diagnosed as an autistic man, has been advocating himself as a professor of special education at Adelphi University and placed his call at an interactive discussion, organized by Suchona Foundation in the auditorium of Bangabandhu Museum in the capital yesterday.

Saima Wazed Hossain, the US-licensed school psychologist and daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina spearheading the autism campaign in Bangladesh as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders, leads the not-for-profit foundation.

The event was organised to provide a perspective from someone who overcame the challenges of neuro-development disorder and was able to fulfill his potentials and make a successful life for himself. A select group with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), experts and government representatives took part in the event.

Drawing upon the experience from his own life, Shore said he was nonverbal until four years of his age and was viewed as "too sick" to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization.

He credits the supports of his family members, friends and teachers for his success in completing a doctoral dissertation at Boston University.

Last year, he had a similar interaction in October when he urged parents to find out strengths of their autistic children and support them to use their capacity to overcome the challenges.

Participants also extolled the organizers for holding this kind of event on such issues, often getting ignored in society, saying that insights shared by the experts will help them deal with such children in a more effective way.

"I was hugely benefitted," Rabeya Bashri, a teacher of a special school, who attended that event, recalled.

"I could inspire our adult children. Now they have a role model before them. Now I'll tell them again that I met him," she said, adding that after that interaction she started "carefully following the strengths" of their children.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)