Rosine Kamagaju, Executive Director of Autism Rwanda has specialized in Autism while pursuing her scientific courses at Rio University in France. She came with other experts in Rwanda to help children with various needs, including those with Autism disorders.
The first idea to give support to Rwandan children started in 2010 when she came in Rwanda with a team of Belgium cooperation and other experts in various subjects.
Autism Rwanda was incepted in 2014 to help train children with Autism disorders. After revealing that the disorder is not known while many children were suffering from it, she decided to come back in 2014 and established Autism Rwanda.
“Parents used to discriminate children with autism, hiding them in the houses and It was in 2010, and they had no solution for that, later in 2014, my family and other volunteers helped me to establish Autism Rwanda. We have 7 years operating in this center and we started with six children and now we have many children. I am not happy for such a big number of cases but because Rwandans got to know what Autism is and its symptoms.” Kamagaju said.
Experts defines Autism as a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behaviour.
Mayoclinic says that Autism can have several causes including:Genetics. “Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. For some children, autism spectrum disorder can be associated with a genetic disorder, such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome. For other children, genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder.” Stated Mayoclinics.
Kamagaju said that Autism is everywhere in Europe, Africa and in Rwanda.
Her objective was to encourage the society cater for children with such an issue instead of hiding them.
“Any Autist worldwide has special needs and must be given special attention, I am happy that today parents come here to request for advice after revealing their children have Autism disorders.” She noted.
Kamagaju advises parents to be careful about their children and know the reason why they are not speaking and let them socialize with their peers at their early age.
“First of all, a child is identified in his/her oral expression and through moral and physical behaviors following their age categories. Most of the time a child cries when her mother is going, children with Autism do not do that. I advise parents who can observe all the three symptoms on their children to take them to pediatrics for treatment.” Kamagaju noted.
Rosine Kamagaju, Executive Director of Autism Rwanda interviewed with The Express News
She explained that they welcome every child following the symptoms and age categories of the children. She said that an existing challenge is a small space and big number of children who need to be cared for.
“We identify the problems a child has and assist the parent by doing all we can do, we wish to have capacity to welcome as many as many children who come for our services.” She noted.
“I had opportunity to have other African partners we work together, my experience since 7 years is that Autism is in every African country, we went in cote divoire congo Brazzaville and we learnt that they have same problems as ours, in Autism Rwanda, we strive to make awareness so that people know autism and reduce this burden in our community.” She said.
She added that a child whose Autism symptoms were identified earlier has greater chance to be helped although this disorder in not curable.
She explained that a child with Autism can perform everything in his/life and all depend on the level of the autism they have.
Kamagaju said that these children are monitored to know their talents and helped to develop them. She warned the society to not hurt these children as they have full rights to enjoy their potentials as other children.
“I have a good example of a France man called Joseph Schuanneck who has more than 10 diploma and speaks more than 10 languages, he is an Autist and he is an expert in many disciplines because he was assisted and educated since he was a child. He is a self-reliant man and proud of himself. At Autism Rwanda, we also want to take our Autist children at a good level that is promising for a brighter future.” She said.
“I first observed autism in France in 1995, and in Burundi. Myself do not have an Autist child, I specialized in Autism to give my contribution in supporting children with such a problem. The success requires collaboration with parents to prepare the children of Autism for a brighter future.” Kamagaju said.
Since its establishment in 2014 todate, Autism Rwanda has 57 children with Autism whose status are in different levels.
The Express News