Autism in South Africa: A Matter Of Perspective.

Having a Child With Autism in S.A.

September 22, 2016

Autism in South Africa by Anna Rania Klibi

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of combined disorders of brain development. ASD is a neurological disability and people with it may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can vary from gifted to severely impaired. Some people with ASD need high support while others need low upkeep.

There are currently no credible propagation studies indicating figures in South Africa (due to stigma, absence of access to medical interventions, under-diagnosis, over diagnosis, cultural misperceptions; etc.). A major researcher

in South Africa based at UCT estimates that approximately 3% of the population is affected by ASD. 

Autism can be treated. There are many intervention strategies e.g. applied behavioral analysis, TEACCH, behavioral interventions and so on. Some individuals respond well to bio-medical interventions such as a change in diet, and others don’t.

The aim of the study is to supply evidence for policy review and donate models. Therefore, the department of social development has place first the developmental rights of children with autism, and is presently achieving community-based authorization programs for parents of children with autism. The department is also cooperating with Autism South Africa, among others, in a research project to set the actual pension of autism to the family.

The department motivates families of children with autism to stand up for their rights by making sure that they are registered in early childhood development programs, that they access health and reclamation services, and that all children between the ages of 7 and 15 years are registered in school.

Interestingly enough, 10 children a week are collectively diagnosed with ASD between Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Lentegeur and Tygerberg Hospitals in the Western Cape.

Precise national autism statistics in South Africa are difficult to come by, but with just 10 specifically tailored schools in the entire country, hundreds of thousands of autistic children are not getting the specialized education they need. Other familiar facts are that ASD is 4 times more prevalent in boys than girls and that 1 autistic child needs the same amount of attention as 10 neuro-typical children.

Autism in South Africa by Anna Rania Klibi