Working To Raise Autism Awareness In The African Community

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Share your experiences of living with or caring for someone with Autism and gain knowledge from health and educational experts at a free event next month aimed at raising awareness within the African community.

Organised by not-for-profit charity – the GUBA Foundation – the event will give parents and care-givers of children with Autism an opportunity to talk directly to experts about their experiences.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects communication, social interaction and how a person makes sense of the world around him or her.

The condition affects one in every 100 people in the UK, which means that over 100,000 people living with the condition come from black or ethnic minority (BME) communities. But despite this figure, people from the BME community are typically diagnosed later than their white counterparts, and face more of an uphill struggle trying to seek support.

Social stigma attached to mental health issues within the black community, a lack of trust in the health care system and cultural insensitivity within education can also cause parents to resist seeking treatment, even when signs of the disorder are evident.

The GUBA Foundation’s inaugural family focus event on 27 April aims to tackle this problem head-on by creating a platform for care-givers to enhance personal growth by talking openly about their daily challenges, improve access to information and challenge myths associated with Autism.

The day will be jam-packed full of discussions from experts on how care-givers to access to financial and emotional support, respite care, and rights for Autistic children through the education system. The day will also help to signpost and identify caring and committed volunteer mentors for those affected.

“The social stigma often associated with having an Autistic child within African communities has left many care-givers struggling to cope without the necessary emotional support structures,” GUBA Foundation’s CEO and founder Dentaa said.

“GUBA Foundation’s Family Focus event aims to fill that gap by providing parents with a forum to discuss their everyday challenges, network with those sharing similar experiences and put their burning questions to experts within the fields of social care, finance, education and health. It’s an event that shouldn’t be missed.”

The event, which is supported by BlueBird Care in Barking and Dagenham & Haringey and Connifers Care, takes place at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach, north- west London from 1pm. Light refreshments will be available on the day.

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