From Challenges to Triumph: An Inspiring Autism Success Story
what is Autism: it is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with Autism often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with Autism may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.
Over the years of my experience as a social worker/Caregiver, I never thought I would come across a person in such a challenging situation. A beautiful soul with the manifestation of both joy and sadness filled with a burning desire to be acknowledged and accepted as any other human being. In this blog, I will not only talk about a success story but also a change story of a beneficiary I journeyed with for almost 2yrs.
PAUL is a 38yr old person living with an intellectual disability (autistic) who resides in the rural terrain of Sipili Laikipia westWest County. A vibrant energetic individual full of life compared to you one might say you are the one with autism words from her mother a woman in her mid-60s. I found it intriguing how the mother could provide for both the son and the father who also living with mental illness. The support from the community made it possible for Paul to be recognized in Laikipia West.
The community’s initiative to create awareness through the eradication of shame on intellectual disabilities made it possible for families experiencing the same challenges to come out from hiding and be offered opportunities in the line of inclusivity. from the same initiative Paul got recognized with the area organization where they nurture special talents of people with intellectual disabilities. My journey with Paul begins when I arrived at the institution where he was a live-in beneficiary.
Surely on the first site, I found it hard to accept that a person living with an intellectual disability is even capable of doing anything leave alone working. He was fully dressed in his overalls and boots from afar someone could just confuse him with the normal farmer he was with the aid of the farm assistants. Where they guided Paul on the daily activity. He is a friendly fellow always yearning for recognition even among his fellow friends, words that I came to see when he wanted to pray when others never wanted to. And it’s these struggles that landed him on the committee to represent others with the aid of a personal assistant.
His ability to Socialize freely with everyone and create awareness not only for his autism disability but for people with other disabilities out there has made him a champion. His love for vehicles especially buses (mbathii) and music mugithi always excites him as he yearns to buy one in the future.
With the nature of Paul’s autism was detected in his early teen years and the diagnosis is not like any other so there is no medical test to diagnose the disorder. The doctors look at the child’s developmental history and behavior.
Applied behavior analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is one of the most widely used autism treatments on how to treat autism, for both adults and children. It is also the only intervention backed by research showing that it is more effective for children with autism than any other intervention or a mixture of other interventions. All the methods used within ABA are also research-based, and one of the ethical obligations of a good ABA practitioner is to use research-based methods, thus ensuring a high standard of quality to its recipients.
In the case of Paul, him being a grown man there was a need to go with Positive behavior support. This involves making environmental changes to the home or classroom to make good behavior feel more rewarding. So, there was a need to upgrade his home to fit his needs. And through the support of friends and community, it was possible.
Positive behavior support plans
An article (Hieneman, 2015) describes positive behavior support as a process that integrates evidence-based principles from ABA and various other disciplines to address difficult behaviors. The article goes on to list the following features of positive behavior support:
-Improvement in quality of life.
-Working and collaborating with caregivers.
-Measuring progress in meaningful ways.
-comprehensive function-targeted interventions.
Through these processes, Paul has been able to acquire his own space that is peaceful, away from the triggers that may contribute to hyperactivity.
Paul’s journey serves as an incredible success story that exemplifies the transformative power of support and advocacy for individuals living with autism. With the unwavering guidance and care provided by Frolics of Hope Africa, Paul has not only conquered the challenges associated with autism but has emerged as a passionate champion for the rights and well-being of others facing similar circumstances.
Through the comprehensive programs and resources offered by Frolics of Hope Africa, Paul received the necessary tools to navigate the complexities of his autism diagnosis. The organization’s commitment to early intervention and tailored support allowed Paul to develop essential skills, enhance his communication abilities, and improve his overall quality of life.
As Paul continued to grow and flourish, he found his voice and discovered a deep sense of purpose. Inspired by the transformative impact of Frolics of Hope Africa’s support, Paul became a tireless advocate for the autism community. With unwavering determination, he has been instrumental in raising awareness, promoting inclusion, and fighting against the stigma surrounding autism.
Frolics of Hope Africa’s dedication to empowering individuals with autism, like Paul, showcases the remarkable difference that can be made when organizations prioritize comprehensive care, early intervention, and advocacy. Their commitment to championing the rights of people living with autism is a testament to their unwavering belief in the potential of every individual.
In celebrating Paul’s success story, let us not only applaud his achievements but also recognize the crucial role that organizations like Frolics of Hope Africa play in fostering a more inclusive and supportive society. Together, through collective efforts and continued support, we can ensure that more individuals with autism can thrive, fulfill their potential, and make a lasting impact on the world.