What You Need If Your Child Has Special Needs (Woman Daily™)

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Woman Daily™ is our diary. Share your views and experiences on all issues.

Caring for a child with special needs can be very demanding, especially when the child cannot express himself/herself by speaking. However challenging the demand may be, it is important and necessary to be patient, be encouraged by loved ones and remain hopeful for the best for such child.

In the last one week I had been very concerned about my little niece, Eriziah. Her mother, my oldest sister, did not want to worry so much about the problem with her until three nights ago.

I remember quite clearly when my mother came around to nurse my sister and the baby when she was given birth to, she did not think that there was any problem after all. She always assured my sister that her baby was just a quiet girl because she usually sleept for longer hours than babies would normally do.

Eriziah eats her food quietly, sits quiet on her chair and would never say a word like  other little children would. She actually slept all day when it was her first birthday celebration.

Again, people expressed their different views on that. Some of my sister’s friends who brought their children for the party said their children had behaved in like manner and that they soon ‘changed’ from that.

As she turned 18months, I noticed a strange behaviour in her; she would scream for longer than necessary at the slightest provocation; bang her head against the door and do many other things that got me really worried. My sister had been told by her friends not to worry. They felt she got so worked-up because it took a while after her marriage for her to get pregnant.

My sister and I usually looked at other children of Eriziah’s age and hoped that she would be happy and play around the house like them, but we always got something different. And in spite of the nerve-calming advises from close friends, we kept praying that all would be well with my niece.

I however came close to finding out something we never imagined after I spoke to a friend’s mother who is a Paediatrician. She was not very particular, but she expressed fears that Eriziah could be suffering from autism.

She booked an appointment for my sister and little Eriziah to come over to the hospital three days ago and the fear was confirmed; my little niece suffers from autism. We have been learning on how best to care for her as a child with special needs.

I also use this opportunity to appeal to mothers whose children have similar condition, to learn and be happy to help such children in spite of the challenge. Remember patience and hope for the best, as what you need to succeed.