Inclusive approach to redress challenges of autism: Stephen

DHAKA- Stephen Shore, who is well known for relating his life to the many challenges facing people on the autism spectrum, underscored the need for an inclusive approach to redress the challenges faced by children with special needs.

To help children overcome such challenge and grow at the potentials, intensive home-based early intervention is a prerequisite which includes music, movement, narrative and imitation, observed Shore.

Shore, who despite being diagnosed as autistic stands out as a professor of special education at Adelphi University, placed the call at an interactive discussion, organized by Suchona Foundation in the auditorium of Banganahdu Museum in the capital yesterday.

Saima Wazed Hossain, US-licensed school psychologist and daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who spearheads the autism campaign in Bangladesh as 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 has overcome the challenges of neuro-development disorder and has been able to fulfill his potential and make a successful life for himself, the foundation said. A select group of persons with autism spectrum disorder, ASD, experts and government representatives participated at the talk.

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

He credits the support of family members, friends and teachers for his success in completing his 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 strengths to overcome the challenges.

Participants also extolled the organizers for holding this kind of event on such issues, often gets ignored in society, saying that insights shared by the expert 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)