Teachers, Parents Lectured on Autism Spectrum Disorder


June 26, 2018

By Regina Pratt


Over 50 head teachers, teachers, parents and school administrators have benefited from one day training in Autism Spectrum Disorder, a developmental disability which normally affects children.

The workshop was hosted over the weekend at the American Montessori Leadership Academy situated at the Freetown Secondary School for Girls.

It was organised by the American Montessori Leadership Academy with sponsorship from Lead Africa, Excel Daycare, Nursery and Primary School and Becklyn educational institutions.

Director of Lead Africa, Don Osman, said the forum was not only meant for their school, but also teachers from other educational institutions.

He added that schools in the country were far behind on how to teach children with special needs.

Joyce Osman from the American Montessori Leadership Academy welcomed participants, especially some of the trainers from America, who are working with women from Kroo Bay Community.

“Some of these children are hype, while some are sensitive for little things. The teachers will see some of them in their classrooms,” she said.

Special guest Leslie Porcket said Autism is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, adding that it is generally evident before age three and adversely affects a child’s performance.

“It is a developmental disability and it is the fastest growing disability. 30% of people with Autism develop epilepsy,” she said.

According to her, even though teachers lack the ability to diagnose children with Autism, but have some of the affected ones in their classrooms while children living with the condition have a variety of responses.

“It is really hard to test a child with Autism except you use your intelligence. They are not people who just move about as there is no single cause for Autism,” Madam Porcket noted.

She said that many children with Autism have disrupted sleep cycles and that even though they are not able to express their needs they can be very intelligent.

The workshop was concluded with a group practical of an Autism child and issuance of certificates.