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Dakoa Newman Calls For Inclusive Support On World Autism Awareness Day

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Okaikwei South Constituency Dakoa Newman is urging for increased attention and support for individuals on the autism spectrum in Ghana.

Issuing a statement to mark the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday (April 2), Newman emphasised the importance of illuminating the challenges faced by those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in various aspects of life, including education, employment, and social integration.

She highlighted the need for inclusive policies and comprehensive support systems to ensure the well-being and empowerment of individuals on the spectrum.

"Today, on World Autism Awareness Day, it is crucial to shed light on the challenges encountered by individuals on the autism spectrum within our educational institutions, workplaces, and communities," said Newman, who doubles as the Minister-designate for Gender, Children, and Social Protection.

"We must celebrate the uniqueness of those on the spectrum and acknowledge their valuable contributions to society."

Newman cited data from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing an increase in ASD cases globally, underlining the urgency of addressing this issue. While estimating the prevalence of ASD in Ghana remains challenging due to limited data, Newman stressed the need for greater attention and support for affected individuals and their families.

The Minister-designate outlined key areas for focus, including the development of inclusive policies, financial support for interventions, community awareness, and social support initiatives. She emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts among government agencies, healthcare providers, educators, and community leaders to create a more inclusive society.

"In line with this year's theme, 'Moving from Surviving to Thriving,' efforts should be concentrated on providing comprehensive support to individuals on the spectrum," Newman stated. "This includes policy development, financial assistance, community engagement, and establishing support networks for parents and caregivers."

Newman concluded by urging stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to creating a society that embraces neurodiversity and ensures equal opportunities for all individuals to thrive and contribute to the progress of the nation.

As Ghana joins the global community in observing World Autism Awareness Day, Newman's call for inclusive policies and support systems reflects a growing recognition of the importance of addressing the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum and promoting their full participation in society.