Rania Klibi's Blog

An autistic boy builds the biggest
Titanic replica ever made with LEGO

December 17, 2018


Lego is the world's most famous assembly bricks, known for stimulating the creation and imagination of players of all ages. Everything, or almost everything, can be built thanks to them; all you need is good parts, a good project and a good deal of time and patience.

These are the ingredients that little Brynjar Karl Bigisson had when he decided to build the biggest replica of the Titanic in the world; a titanic venture for the 10-year-old boy, a project that not only gained notoriety but also overcame his personal fight against autism.

Seven years ago a family from the UK brought home a beautiful kitty who changed their son's life forever.

Their son, Kian, was four years old when he met Simba the cat who jumped straight up to him as if he knew exactly what the boy needed. Kian was born with autism and as a result had many health issues. "He has autism, secondary immunodeficiency syndrome and degenerative bones and soft tissues," as his mother Becky Green said.

Simba, the kitty, became his little guardian angel that day.

Kian would regularly stop breathing without showing any signs, whether when eating, playing, sleeping, or anything else.

The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root yuj which means "to join" or "to yoke". Many people around the world think that yoga is a religion, in fact, it is a practical aid.

Yoga is an ancient art based on a consorting system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The constant practice of yoga will command you to a sense of peace and prosperity.

In Sanskrit, Yoga means ‘unity’ or ‘linkage’ and it is used to signify any form of connection. Yoga is a combination of connection and a body of techniques that let us connects to anything. 

Autism in Zimbabwe by Anna Rania Klibi

There are about 200,000 people in Zimbabwe living with autism. There is an urgent need to raise public awareness about the condition as many people with ASD and their families are stigmatised by their communities.

Because of their unusual behaviour, most ASD children cannot be accepted in schools. Children in Zimbabwe affected by ASD are thought to be cursed or possessed by evil spirits. Parents are also having the role in failing to manage or control their ASD-affected child.

Liberia’s past, present, and future is one that pains us and makes us think about what it means to be non African. A child was accused of being an obstruction to his step-mother’s business extension and progress. The allegations against the child include turning himself into animal and harming things. Because children cannot guard themselves against such allegations coming from adults, they are left susceptible and often designated as witches. But Liberia is not the exception in Africa, as this IRIN story expands. 

Autism in Liberia by Anna Rania Klibi
Autism in Ivory Coast by Anna Rania Klibi

African society leaders are concerned about autism education and services in their countries. In other developing countries such as China, over a million people are suffering from autism. Unfortunately, in Africa there is a lack of sufficient data caused in part by the discrimination and stigma against children and adults with autism.

Having a child with autism, in Ghana, is viewed by most people as a curse on the family, or worse, the mother is still classified as a witch; mother and child are avoided by society. No one wants to know or care about them. Many people are not seeking the necessary aid that they need; instead they are hiding their autistic children at home, locking them up in their rooms, and denying their basic human rights.

Family is the first main cause in Ghanaian society, and also is the biggest offender of this terrible act, and second, some churches just want to exorcise this “demon” away.

The level of ignorance is unacceptable, and that what led to this horrible situation. 

Autism in Ghana by Anna Rania Klibi
Autism in Cameroon by Anna Rania Klibi

In Cameroon autism is referred to nothing other than something mysterious and paranormal. Thus, people suffering from this disorder, witness great social distress and discrimination and walk with immense social dismissal marks on their foreheads, the same way AIDS patients do. Trying to create awareness on this malady, the United Nations founded a World Autism Awareness Day.

Many parents of children who suffer from autism have complained of the refusal of a majority of nurseries to accept their children. Other kindergartens invest in this disorder, and raise the price to a rate three times higher, if they agree to take kids with autism. All these occur in the absence of competent centers in Algeria.

The number of autistic children in Algeria has reached 90,000 cases. Private and public schools don’t accept them and the nurseries have increased the charge on their parents, making their destiny unknown in Algeria.

Autism in Algeria by Anna Rania Klibi
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.

Autism in Nigeria by Anna Rania Klibi

With the complexity of the pervasive developmental disorder; ASD is a lifelong developmental disability which provides the way a person communicates and relates with people around them. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, not much is known of it and stigmatization of children living with this condition makes it even more difficult to deal with.

Autism in Tanzania

August 22, 2016

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a critical neuro-developmental disorder beginning in childhood and is increasingly recognized worldwide. Recent statistics mention an increase from 1 out of every 100 children to almost one out of every 60 children in USA. It has also been increasingly recognized in many African countries.

In Tanzania, we are observing a large gap in information on the knowledge, prevalence and care of children with ASD.
A systemic search and a full treatise of the existing information about ASD in Tanzania was done using different devices, including interviewing key persons, visiting facilities and identifying potential resources available for improved care of children with ASD.

Autism in Tanzania by Anna Rania Klibi
Autism in Egypt

August 19, 2016

Autism in Egypt by Anna Rania Klibi

This was the first study ever done on the cost consequences of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Egypt or any other developing country.

A statistical sample of 185 households, with at least 1 autistic family member, in the Greater Cairo Region was surveyed. Households were drawn from 3 distinct geographic clusters (urban, suburban and rural). In addition, relevant ASD policies were content analyzed.

Autism in Uganda

August 18, 2016

Autism is one of the most challenging conditions in the world, with no known cause or cure. Up until a few years ago autism cases in Uganda were classed as “witch craft” and people with autism often referred to in local dialect (Luganda) as ‘kasiru’ loosely translated as dense and worthless.

While there is growing acknowledgment of this condition in the developed world, there it is hardly understood in countries like Uganda.

Autism in Uganda by Anna Rania Klibi
Autism in Ethiopia

August 8, 2016

Autism in Ethiopia by Anna Rania Klibi

Some social interaction, communication and behavioral deficits have to be present before the diagnosis of autism is appropriate. Though all people with autism show the same specific pattern of impairments, the gravity of these impairments vary from case to case, with some people demonstrating comparatively moderate impairments and others demonstrating severe impairments.

The concept of the autism spectrum has expanded widely in many circles over the past three decades. In the U.S., for example, some people who are “on the spectrum” are, in fact, exceptionally autonomous and capable: they graduate college, hold jobs, live independently, write books, raise children of their own.

Autism in Kenya

July 20, 2016

Many authorities in the early 2000s considered autism to be one of several similar conditions that fall on a spectrum, hence the term autism spectrum disorders. The conditions on the spectrum share impairments in three areas: communication skills, social interactions, and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

Classic autism and Asperger syndrome are the most common conditions.

Autism awareness is becoming more prevalent in Africa where information has been slow in coming. In the Western world, autism awareness and information has been far more advanced and according to recent literature on the topic of Africa and ASD, more experts are calling for new studies of the epidemiology of ASD, which needs to be seriously addressed.