Advocacy movie on Autism premieres in Abuja

MR Eyaba Emmanuel, Director of the movie entitled “Sometime in September” has called for more advocacy and awareness of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

ASD, popularly known as “Autism”, is a developmental mental disorder characterised by social-communication challenges and restricted repetitive behaviour, activities and interests.

Emmanuel said this at the premiere of the movie in Abuja to commemorate the World Autism Awareness Day celebrated annually on April 2.

The ASD advocacy movie, which premiered at the Silverbird Galleria, featured top Nollywood stars Segun Arinze, Henshaw Emmanuel, Eve Esin and others.

The story plot is about Koko and Henshaw, a young happy couple with good job and other good things of life, but however, has a child, Dan with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

When the child was supposed to speak as a child he could not speak, and was unable to understand anything.

It got to a point when Koko and Henshaw felt like giving up on the usefulness of the child.

He said the movie, an advocacy film seeks to rally support and care for patients of ASD and also raise a voice against the common practice of stigmatising autistic children, and how they can be successfully managed by their families.

He noted that there were many Nigerian families like Koko and Henshaw (Characters played in the movie), who needed to be educated and encouraged that autism was not a sentence to useless life.

“I have spoken with a lot of parents who have children with autism and I realised that they were really passing through a lot of pains taking care of them.

“In some quarters, some see autistic children as witches and evil, and some parents even go as far as abandoning such children.

“They are our children and we need to show them love, patience and care for them to be happy and become what they want to become in life,” he advised.

It is to encourage member states of the UN to take measures to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world.

The Chief host of the event, Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, Head of Service of the Federation, advised that proper management was vital for the happiness of victims and their families, since there were no prescribed medical cure for autism.

“An autistic child needs the full attention of their parents to be able to cope in the society, and that is the only way autism can be handled.

“It is not their faults that they are in that condition, so they need to be totally accepted by the society, especially their families.

“Schools and other public places should show understanding and patience to autistic children no matter how special their needs are, “she urged.

NAN reports that government functionaries, celebrities and entertainment stakeholders were present at the event.

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