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Foundation set to launch diet book for autistic children in Nigeria

08 February 2016, 22:05

Abuja - The Thoughtful House Autism Foundation, an NGO on Monday said the foundation was set to launch a diet book which would help improve the well-being of children with autism in Nigeria.

Mrs Yahcit Zakari, the Executive Director of the Foundation, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Zakari said children diagnosed or with suspected diagnosis of autism would benefit tremendously from the dietary intervention.

She said the book which was first of its kind, comprised various menus, mode of preparation with locally sourced ingredients, would be launched during the world Autism awareness day on April 2.

The executive director said autism treatment included many diet-based therapies that addressed certain health challenges inside the body.

"The road to autism recovery begins with diet; the choice of food is the first step to improving the health and wellbeing of children with autism.

"Certain food substances are known to be problematic for a child with autism which should be avoided; but foods rich in healing nutrients are beneficial when added to their diets.

Also read: Young Abuja autism patients receive timely boost 

According to her, Autism is a developmental disorder that occurs on the spectrum that affects children and impairs their social, communication and cognitive abilities.

Zakari said the developmental impairment that children on the autism spectrum suffered could be traced to physiological imbalances, deficiencies in nutrients and vitamins among others.

She stated that the foundation had been engaged in community outreach programmes to enlighten children with special needs in various schools in the FCT.

"We carryout programmes such as hands -on-training for the children to improve their cognitive ability.

"We also organise series of Parents Forum with autistic children to encourage them to love and give best care,’’ Zakari said.

He said stakeholders must work towards supporting families with autistic children to enjoy normal lives regardless of their condition.

"Our government, Civil Society groups, religious institutions and employers must work towards supporting families with children on the autism spectrum.

"We intend to collaborate and network with high level partners, international organisations, government and stakeholders to ensure that the basic rights of autistic children are protected.

Zakari also urged the government to equip all elementary and secondary schools with facilities that would help each child with special needs to achieve his goals. 




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