Autism is a brain-developmental disorder that is characterized by abnormalities in social functioning , language ,communication and unusual interest and behaviors.
A child with autism displays the following behaviors;
- Difficulties in language and communication
- The child is unable to play with other children and lacks social skills
- The child cannot respond to emotions such as laughing at a joke, crying when hurt, or hugging somebody
- The child is a loner and likes to spend time on their own
- Unlike other children who run crying to a caregiver when hurt in play, the autistic child does not seek comfort from a caregiver when hurt
- The child has difficulty using or understanding facial expressions and they avoid eye contact
- The child rigidly follows repetitive behavior that has no purpose like banging the head on something, rocking, or spinning objects
- The child will throw a temper tantrum in the face of minor changes to their surrounding such as their toys are not being in a specific spot in the house, placing a television in a different corner of the house, or changing classes
- The child shows a persistent preoccupation with objects, part of objects or restricted areas of interest such as staring at a spot on the wall for an extended period of time
- The child has difficulties in initiating a conversation or participating in one for an extended period of time.
Meet Ron Mirigu, an Autistic boy who has never spoken a word (dumb), but making remarkable improvements after rescue. Ron, whose exact age is unknown but after assessment he can pass to be between 8 – 10 years, was abandoned in Gilgil during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The Gilgil Children’s Officer had tried all means to get him sheltered or adopted to no avail when Utugi Angels came into the picture.
Normally, chances of adoption for children with disabilities are pitifully slim. It was equally hard for Ron to get help since he was a complete disability. Ron was sickly (suffers from Hepatic disease). He could convulse up to 24 times in a day. Ron could not feed himself. And as if that was not enough, he did not have any knowledge regarding toileting. He even used to consume his own poop!
Mrs. Martha Wanjau, Executive Director Utugi Angels- a disability facility- in Kiambu County, explains that she started from scratch to transform Ron to be who he is currently. When Ron was rescued, he was malnutrition, thin and frail. Reportedly, he didn’t look anything close to the picture of him attached above.
“I tend to think this boy was locked up, even before abandonment, because of his disability. He could not walk, feed himself and it was even harder to cut him off from eating his own poop and things like trees “, narrated Martha of Utugi Angels.
Utugi Angels took it upon themselves to get Ron a nutritionist to intervene for him to embrace the normal diet and shun poop and trees. They got him a therapist and psychiatrist to help him walk and more admirably, they generously showered Ron with love and warmth.
Presently, young Ron is able to walk on his own, make sounds and has even shown interest in wearing shoes by himself! Additionally, he has gained good weight. Though he is not yet out of the diapers, he has surely come a mighty far.
“We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps.” – Francis Bacon
Every single cent counts, its not how much we give but how much we love put into giving. Through your donation children like Ron and others living with disability will be able to get food, education, clothing and medical supplies.