9 October 2018

Nigeria: Physiotherapists Make Case for Children With Special Needs

Some physiotherapists in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have called on governments, at all levels, to assist in training and rehabilitation of children with special needs, such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism. In an interview with LEADERSHIP, as part of this year's World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day celebration, an occupational physiotherapist, Agbapuonwu Vivian, frowned that Nigeria government is not doing anything at the moment to assist in the training of children affected by cerebral palsy.

Vivian, who is staff of Royal School of Educational Therapy Foundation, Life Camp, noted that children with special needs are really special children that have a lot of needs which government can really assist to make them better.She maintained that government should provide materials, teaching aids and others equipment to schools taking care of special needs children, to enable the children learn with less difficulties.

Vivian explained that the major role of an occupational therapist is to promote general independent special needs child, in every area of his or her life such that everything she or he wants to do it can be done as much as possible. Also speaking, a physiotherapist, in the foundation, Gloria Obiegbu advised mothers to always monitor the growth and development of their babies to know when to get help from physiotherapists.

Obiegbu noted that cerebral palsy if diagnosed and attention given early, there is every possibility that such child would be able to do one thing or the other for himself and even have some levels of independency. "Early intervention is the key. You need to see the experts, such a physiotherapist to help the child early enough, such as massaging the muscles, and make them functional." In his contribution, the admin assistant of the foundation, John Unanaowo, explained that the World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, was set aside to celebrate people affected by cerebral palsy.

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