It is in line with this year’s World Autism Day theme that fosters inclusion and acceptance in learning institutions and work environments.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—is a developmental disorder that impairs one’s ability to communicate and interact. The Autism Society of Kenya (ASK), a parent-driven organisation established in 2013, believes that the Autism prevalence in Kenya could be up to 4%, or one autistic child for every 25 children. That is higher than the global average, which is one in 160 children (less than 1%), according to 2018 statistics by the World Health Organisation. There seem to be no clearer statistics on Kenya which we think may be due the stigma related to autism.
Information about autism in the country is insufficient, with various communities associating autism with mental illness, curses or witchcraft. Autistic children are therefore confined to their homes and young adults taken to psychiatric institutions. Very little has been done by both the Government and the private sector to support autistic children and adults, with most marathons focusing on maternal, child health and cancer among other initiatives.
There is therefore an opportunity for TESPOK to spearhead an initiative that will create more awareness and understanding of Autism across Kenya. This presents a great opportunity for TESPOKs visibility through this initiative by rallying support from its members, other corporates and the public ensuring that autistic children and adults receive love and care.