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A Network to Assist Parents Raising Children with Special Needs in Nigeria

Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Nigeria, and in Africa in general, is sparse. There was a time when many assumed that autism was only found in developed countries. However, recent research from Nigeria showed that 54 of the observed sample of 2,320 children had autism, and the condition is relatively more common among boys (45 males and 9 females were identified with autism in the study). Globally, it is estimated that about 1 in 160 children has autism. Lola Aneke, is a special needs educator and founder of the Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training (CADET) Academy. The school, located in Asokoro, a highbrow area in Abuja, provides early intervention and educational services for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), ASD, Asperger’s syndrome, Down’s syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. In 2015, Biboara founded the Engraced Ones, a support group for parents with special needs children. With about 35 regular members across the country, they provide succour for each other and share resources on how to better care for their children and create awareness about developmental disorders.