August 2016 Newsletter
Having worked in the Autism field (here in America) for many years; my heart goes to individuals with autism and their families, as they face many challenges in a world where little is known on what causes this spectrum disorder, which has no cure yet.
What is Autism?
Autism is a brain disorder which is exhibited in impairment of social and communication skills. In most cases it is accompanied by aggressive behaviors e.g. hand flapping, body rocking, repetition of words and phrases, destructive behaviors such as self-injury and resistance to change. Most people with autism exhibit cognitive impairment while others demonstrate average or higher IQ.
My heart weeps for the autistic children and young adults in the continent of Africa especially in my beloved Kenya; where little is known about autism and in some cases it is attributed to witchcraft. Stigma within the community is a big challenge, and this form of disability is interpreted to be a curse. Lack of finances is a hindrance to accessing medical help. Most families prefer to keep their children in seclusion.
Autistic Children (people) Are Unique
Autistic children (people) are created in God”s image (like you and me). God loves them unconditionally. They are global citizens who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.Â We are hands of Jesus that can minister hope and spiritual healing. We are the light of Christ that will dispel the darkness of ignorance and hopelessness. "But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
One individual with autism that I worked with asked me this question, "Beatrice why I”m different from the other kids?” Will I ever be like them?” This was a very sensitive question, and I needed to answer it in a way that I would give him hope or crash his spirit. I looked at him and calmly told him, "you are not different, you are unique and beneath your uniqueness there is great potential that will make you great in many ways.” With the right tools, training, compassion and commitment we can make the lives of our autistic children meaningful as we help them connect with their uniqueness and tap into their hidden potential.
I”m asking you to join the Pinnacle of Praise Show team as we take steps in creating autism awareness in Kenya by:
Addressing the stigma
Providing training/training materials
Providing sensory integration products
We kindly ask for your prayer and financial support. You can give your financial gift online (at our website) or mail your check to:
Pinnacle of Praise Ministries
1655 Manheim Pike, Suite A3
Lancaster, PA 17601