Rural Integrated Relief Service-Ghana

                    The Autism Project for Ghana

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a term often used as an umbrella term for Pervasive Developmental Disorders as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental disorders 4th Edition, Text revised (DSM-IV-TR). Autism can be seen as a spectrum on which each individual that has it is somewhere on a continuum including Autistic disorder, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s disorder, Rett’s disorder and Childhood integrative disorder, as seen in the picture on the right.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability whereby those affected display difficulties in the following 4 areas (by some referred to as the “Quadrant of Autism”).

Although statistics about the prevalence of Autism varies, Autism in Ghana estimates that 1 in 87 children in Ghana under the age of 3 years are affected by it. Autism is 4 times more prevalent in boys than in girls. You are more than welcome to contact us if you suspect that your child might be displaying some of these difficulties. Rural Integrated Relief Service-Ghana will soon launch the first ever Computer Learning Centre' for Children with Autism in Ghana. The Centre when Completed will provide FREE access to a well-researched, highly effective web-based learning and development programme with one-on-one guidance from a trained professional for families with children on the autism spectrum. A new study concludes that less than 11 per cent of children with autism in Africa are not receiving any beneficial intervention strategies.

How does the Rural Integrated Relief Service-Ghana reach these Autism children?

The Rural Integrated Relief Service-Ghana aims to be an autism specific school that offers education based on the needs and special abilities of the individual learner. This means that  every learners' skills are thouroughly assessed by a team of professionals (Occupational Therapist, Educational Pshychologist, Speech Tharapist and Educators) together with the learners' parents in order to determine every learner's specific educational goals. This will provide the children with the opportunity to learn and grow within a social environment along with their peers – an environment that respects every child's uniqueness and promotes learning and development. We are therefore committed to providing specialised education and facilities for our learners, as well as the continual professional training of staff to render the best service possible.

"We're acutely aware that the majority of families in Ghana do not have enough money for food, much less the funds to access specialized education for their autistic child.

The Autism Computer Learning Centre in Ghana, when completed will be the first national Centre linking with the digital learning programme. The software treatment program will be license.  The project will be design for parents and professionals and offers a comprehensive curriculum, individualized assessment tools, staff and parent training modules, data tracking/progress reporting and ongoing professional support options.

The child's strengths, weaknesses and developmental stages are entered into the programme that personalizes an intervention strategy for the child. The attending educator will then ensure that the parent fully understands the intervention strategy he/she must follow with their child.

When the parent returns for the next session, the programme will provide a questionnaire to establish the improvement in the child's skills, whether the child can move on to the next stage of the required developmental path, or if the expected results have not been obtained in the interim period, an alternative approach will be provide. What we have now is collecting data for the autistic children in our areas of operation,

The center is a proposed project still under funding.