This is autism awareness month. Every April on this blog, I have tried to do more than autism awareness. Autism is not just a disorder somewhere, it is a condition that families have to live with; parents, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents, even spouses. So every year, I usually talk first about people that have children with autism, and then people that provide respite in their own ways.
This week, I am celebrating people and organizations that support families that have children on the spectrum. I am particularly excited about the group I am sharing about today.
The Children Restoration Initiative (CRI) has been around for a while, but somehow have been doing amazing things without drawing attention to themselves. Born primarily from experience as parents of children on the spectrum, these parents are helping other families, creating autism awareness, and are strongly involved in advocacy for better education for children with autism and other special needs.
According to their website, CRI is a registered non-profit educational advocacy group established by reform-minded parents in response to the dearth in educational services for children and young adults with special needs in the Nigerian education system. They campaign for the enforcement of existing legislation that ensure the provision of free, tailored education and related services within the public school system.
|Book on autism awareness by one of the CRI parents|
|Autism awareness in a school|
CRI is actively involved in autism awareness, emphasizing on the importance of early intervention in autism treatment and support. They campaign for peer autism awareness and acceptance, so they go around schools, educating pupils alongside teachers and other members of staff. CRI presently supports the inclusive education unit in one of the public schools in Lagos metropolis.
|Working on the inclusive education unit|
|Inclusive education unit before renovation|
|Let me throw this here, as fan club. A CRI member|
|Inclusive education unit after renovation|
Autism therapy is quite expensive, and many families in Nigeria cannot afford therapy. Considering that there is no government support subsidizing therapy for families, CRI supports some low income families that cannot afford therapy for their children on the spectrum. They raise the money for these supports from their personal pockets and the kind support of other people and NGOs.
|CRI helped provide hearing aids for this boy with autism whose widowed mother could not afford|
Today I choose to celebrate The Children Restorative Initiative for all they do in creating autism awareness, education advocacy for children with special needs, and supporting families that have children with autism in different ways.
To learn more about CRI or to contact them, visit www.tcri-ng.org or call +2348133571965, or send them an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are you doing to support autism?