Autism Awareness

Autism Spectrum Disorder (referred to as ASD) is a life long developmental disability that typically appears during the first 36 months of age.

Since there is no medical test for ASD’s, the diagnosis of ASD is made in a clinical setting. An ASD diagnosis is best determined by a team of professionals through observation, play and testing of the child, coupled with interviews with parents and guardians. Because ASD is a spectrum disorder, children with autism are uniqui in their capabilities and challenges.

Autism is characterized by:

–       Impaired social interaction

–       Impairment in communication

–       Signs of restricted behaviours and interest

Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries; family income levels; lifestyle choices; or educational levels, and can affect any family and any child.

Social Interaction Red Flags:

–       Little or no eye contact

–       Does not respond to social cues

–       Preferring to be alone or ignoring others

–       Not waving hello or goodbye

–       Not playing peek-a-boo

–       Poor imitation

–       Little interest in being held

–       Delay or deficits in joint attention

–       Lack of pretend play

–       Lack of peer relationships

–       Failure to attract attention to self

Behavioural Red Flags:

–       Obsessions with unusual objects

–       Obsessions with certain routines

–       Repetitive body movements

–       Unusual visual interests

–       Difficulty in changes in routine or schedule

–       Hypersensitive to taste

–       Insensitive to plain, cold or heat

–       Inconsistent response to sound

–       Over or under sensitive to sound

–       Unusual toy play

–       May only play with part of a toy or object

Communication Red Flags:

–       No babbling by 12 months

–       No single words by 16 months

–       No 2 word-phases by 24 months

–       May have had language and then lost it

–       Limited pointing or gestures

–       Trouble with reciprocal conversation

–       Difficulty in interpreting facial expressions or gestures

–       Peculiar use of language

–       Trouble initiating communication

–       Trouble engaging in meaningful communication

–       Not orienting when name is called

You may or may not know someone who is autistic but you can help by being informed and also creating awareness.

Autism Awareness Kenya is a society that was formed in April 2010. Our main goals involve creating awareness and helping the families and individuals in any way we can. We are an umbrella of organizations that include professionals and parents as well.

Every year we aim to provide an awareness event in April (Worldwide Autism Awareness Month) and educate our society on autism and how to recognize it early. Our last event in April 2010 was very successful.

We are having a fundraising car wash event on the 25th September 2010 to raise some funds to help meet our goals. This is being held at the Junction Mall on Ngong Road.

We need any help available to supply t-shirts, water, soap, buckets, sponges, banners, drinking water, legal permits and other items to help make the event successful. Any volunteers will be great as well.

If you can help in ANY way it would be fabulous.

Thank you!

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