The Face of Autism

first_imgBy Lekpele M. NyamalonImagine walking to a hospital bed and greeting your wife in excitement about the birth of a new baby and dreaming of watching him/her grow. And, somewhere down the not too distant road, your beautiful child is diagnosed of having an anomaly, Autism. Living in Africa, one can imagine the ostracizing, the judgmental slurs from community members with allegations of witchcraft, ill omen, and other unsavory characterizations.  Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others properly or in a somewhat limited way. These are the experiences of scores of parents who go through this highly emotional tunnel with little or no communal support and, as has been proven, with non-existent learning facilities for these children when they become of school going ages. Most of them grow up hanging around and join the cycle of perpetual liabilities on society’s already-over-loaded social issues. Some families have been urged to abandon their children, branding them as ‘evil children’, others have been told face up that their children were useless to society. A young mother of one, once lamented that she was told by her maid that her child was a ‘devil’s agent’ and hence didn’t deserve any kind of attention or special needs.No doubt, because of the peculiarity of people with Autism, they are people of special needs and thus warrant persons trained in understanding those needs to help them. In Liberia, West Africa, an organization ‘Straight from the Heart’ started by a West African Advocate and Radio journalist Agnes Fallah Kamara moved in to help and opened an Autism Class Room in Monrovia. A drop in the ocean as it seems, but goes a mighty long way in addressing the issues faced by scores of parents. Agnes remarked to me ‘I remember the first time I heard the word “autistic”. I was 47 years old, and in South Africa at my two-year fellowship with Vital Voices in November of 2014. Now a friend of mine, Jaki Mathaga, mentioned that she has a son who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I was confused because I did not know what the meaning of autism was. I went to my room and googled it.  I was not able to sleep that night because I wanted to help Jaki’s son, Arthur, and I then began the process of searching for potential treatments for autism for him. The rest is history.’I stopped by the opening ceremony of the Autism classroom in Paynesville-a suburban city outside Monrovia and was overwhelmed with the emotions of parents recounting their experiences. Agnes picked a classroom at the Abundant Grace DayCare and Primary School GSA Road Paynesville City Liberia and named it- Arthur and Zwanna Classroom– homage to two children born with Autism. Arthur, the son of her colleague; and Zwanna, a son to a well-known Liberian couple, are both autistic and represent the face of the classroom.   Autism and all other forms of mental or physical limitations deserve the attention of policy makers in Liberia, Africa and the world. Children born with these conditions deserve an equal dose of care, patience, love and opportunities as their counterparts in regular conditions. Disability in any form should not be an obstacle for anyone in fulfilling his potentials. The Arthur and Zwanna Autism classroom is a cornerstone and represents the need to give attention to those differently abled from the rest of us. The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Hon. Jewel Howard-Taylor cut the ribbon along with one of the parents, officially opening the doors to opportunities for children born with Autism. The pilot classroom sends a message that little efforts go a long drive in responding to some of society’s greatest challenges. Few sponsors include the Vice President of the republic of Liberia, A Friendly Face a NYC licensed provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children diagnosed with autism and the Eden 2 & Genesis Foundation. Agnes plans to improve the conditions of the school with this vision, ‘I want to have a well equipped school for children with autism as one of the schools in US for children with autism.’The road to full potential for any society is to include all of its citizens on board, including those that are differently abled from the rest of us; and those living with Autism should not be left behind.The AuthorLekpele M. Nyamalon is a Poet, Author, Speaker and a Mandela Washington Fellow- a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative. He can be reached at nyamalon23@gmail.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Lekpele M. Nyamalon – Advertisement –last_img read more

Wolves sign Sunderland forward on emergency loan deal

first_img Danny Graham in action for Sunderland Wolves have signed Sunderland forward Danny Graham on an emergency loan deal until the end of December.Graham, 29, who has struggled to settle on Wearside since his £5m move from Swansea in January 2013, will now be available to Kenny Jackett’s Championship side until December 31.“I am delighted to have agreed a loan deal to join Wolves and am looking forward to meeting the lads on Monday and starting training,” the forward, who also spent time on loan at Middlesbrough last term, said.“Wolves is a good club which has done very well over the last year and this is a good opportunity for me to try and play some regular football and get back to scoring goals.” 1last_img read more

Schweinsteiger OUT for rest of the season – but could play at Euro 2016

first_imgBastian Schweinsteiger is unlikely to don a Manchester United shirt again this season, but Louis van Gaal believes the Germany captain could yet make Euro 2016.Life since swapping Bayern Munich for Old Trafford has been topsy-turvy for the World Cup winner, with injury restricting him to just 31 appearances.The last of those came in the derby win at Manchester City before an international break when Schweinsteiger suffered a partial medial collateral ligament tear during training with Germany ahead of the friendly with England.That blow came having only recently returned from a two-month knee injury, with this current complaint set to rule him out for the rest of United’s season if not perhaps this summer’s European Championship in France.“I don’t think Schweinsteiger shall play this season – I think, next season, he is prepared,” Van Gaal told MUTV.“Maybe he is prepared for the European Championship, I cannot predict.“It is possible, but then that is also in our favour because then he is fit for the new competition.”Schweinsteiger is one of few long-term injury concerns Van Gaal still has to contend with, along with Will Keane and Luke Shaw.The latter has been out since a horrific challenge resulted in a double fracture of his right leg, but the left-back is edging closer to playing his first match since September.“Shaw is now training on the pitch with the physiotherapist, it’s not with a trainer-coach, so that’s the difference,” Van Gaal said. “But he’s going great, it’s unbelievable.”Ander Herrera is likely to swell the number of first-team absentees this weekend as assessments continue on the foot injury sustained in the midweek FA Cup quarter-final replay triumph at West Ham.That match witnessed Wayne Rooney’s first-team return from a knee injury and Van Gaal is set to give United’s captain another chance to build his fitness when embattled Aston Villa arrive on Saturday.“(Rooney) always wants to play,” Van Gaal said. “Yes, I think he shall receive more minutes but it’s always dependable on the game.“You cannot say in advance that I give you 20 minutes or something like that. When it’s possible, I shall do that because we need Wayne in the team.” 1 Bastian Schweinsteiger and Louis van Gaal last_img read more

Rams have hot hands, 60-42

first_imgTEMPLE CITY – Good outside shooting is a rare commodity among local high school basketball teams. On Friday night, the Temple City boys showed that shooting is a talent it has in abundance this season. The Rams defeated visiting Rio Hondo League rival South Pasadena 60-42 behind the hot touch of their shooting guards. Senior Donald La led the way for the Rams with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita“We haven’t played anybody with that much enthusiasm like South Pas, so it was good to see we meet that,” Temple City coach Rich Hollinger said. “I thought we were pretty sharp. We had good skill tonight.” The win raised Temple City’s record to 13-5 and moved it into a first-place tie in the league at 2-0. South Pasadena fell to 6-12 and 1-1 in league. The Tigers looked like they were poised for an upset after they raced to a 30-25 halftime lead. Robby Rhodes and Leeban Adan powered South Pasadena early with strong play on both ends of the court. Rhodes scored 18 points for the game, and Adan finished with 14 points. The second half belonged to the Rams and their shooting guards. Temple City outscored the Tigers 35-12 over the last two quarters. center_img “The thing that excites me the most is that we’re at home and (the team) showed heart,” Hollinger said. “They said, `Hey, we’re not going to get beat.’ Once they figured that out, then we got the momentum and it carried through.” David Chen came off the bench for the Rams in the third quarter and scored eight points on three long jumpers. La capped the scoring at the end of the quarter with a 35-foot shot at the buzzer to extend the Rams’ lead to 46-36. “The time was running out so I had nothing to do,” La said. “I just caught the ball and I just shot it. Right when it left my hand I felt like it was going in.” Jonathan Adling scored 13 points for the Rams in a balanced scoring attack. Temple City’s new-found depth has given Hollinger reason for optimism heading into the remainder of the Rams’ league schedule. “I’m really excited about the supporting cast tonight,” Hollinger said. “They handled the pressure, they handled the ball and they came back.” Chris Almacelles scored nine points for Temple City, and Matt Magalenes had eight points for the Rams. The Rams look to continue their undefeated run through league play when they host Blair on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


first_imgBlood Bike North West 10k members Kathy O’Connor, Tony Steel, Bernard McDyre, Andrew Speer and Peter McLean who will be one of the beneficiaries of this year’s North West 10k and are fundraising the running costs of the voluntary service, training and the purchase of a second bike.The North West 10k Charity Race and Walk is this year supporting Blood Bike North West in their fundraising drive to purchase a second bike. Blood Bike North West is a voluntary group of bikers offering an out of hours emergency service to the HSE in Donegal.Their function is to transport blood, plasma, breast milk and important notes to hospitals in Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Derry. The monies received from the charity race and walk will go towards the running costs of the voluntary service, training and the purchase of a second bike.So help Blood Bike North West’s hugely important work by taking sponsorship cards. The North West 10k takes place on Sunday 3rd May in Letterkenny.For further details go to  NORTH WEST 10K – A FOCUS ON THE CHARITIES! was last modified: March 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Blood BikesdonegalNorth West 10klast_img read more


first_imgThe Donegal U14 girls team who did themselves and their families proud today.The U14 girls of Donegal will get another bite at the All-Ireland Under 14B title after a nail-biting game in Athlone today.With just a few minutes to go it appeared that Donegal had don enough to win this game as they led by four points.But two late goals by their opponents Tipperary saw this game go to a replay.Reports suggest that the replay will be played on Sunday next, July 11th but there is no definite confirmation of a venue.After a slow start which saw their opponents score two early goals, Donegal pulled back level thanks to goals from Sarah Harkin and Saoirse Bonner.Donegal battled on and went in two points ahead at the break.They extended their lead to four points with just a few minutes to go.But miraculously Tipperary managed to grab two late goals to draw the game at 3-13 to 5-7.Th girls from Dongal and their management team can feel very proud of how close they came to winning this All-Ireland.They’ll have nothing to fear when they return to finish the job next weekend.DONEGAL GIRLS GET ANOTHER BITE AT THE ALL-IRELAND TITLE was last modified: July 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgTHEY used to sell the most expensive petrol in Donegal – but petrol stations in Bridgend are now the CHEAPEST in the county.Rafferty’s Top Station in the Border village is selling petrol for just 158c per litre – that’s 11c cheaper per litre than some petrol stations in Letterkenny and other towns which are charging up to 169c per litre.In old conversions for gallons, that makes a difference of an incredible 45c per gallon. Diesel is also up to 4c per litre cheaper in Bridgend than it is in others where prices are cheaper to encourage northern motorists to use them.The price of petrol and diesel rose sharply again last month and hit new record highs, according to the latest survey from motoring organisation AA Ireland.A litre of petrol now costs an average of 161.1 cent, up over 5 cent on February, while the cost of a litre of diesel is now 157.7, up 3.3 cent compared with last month.According to AA Ireland a combination of oil price rises and higher Government taxes are behind the increase. AA Ireland policy director Conor Faughnan said while the global financial uncertainty and weak euro were factors outside the State?s control, the Government could look at the impact of taxes on fuel costs.“We are in the euro but we are also very high per capita oil users in Ireland. Our freight and almost all of our economy is highly dependent on fuel and fuel prices,” he said.“In Donegal motorists should shop around, but the Government has added around 22c per litre in taxes over the past couple of years.”Mr Faughnan called on the Government to examine taxes on motoring fuels saying that high fuel costs were damaging the economy. BORDER FILLING STATIONS SELL PETROL 45C A GALLON CHEAPER was last modified: March 20th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BORDER FILLING STATIONS SELL PETROL 45C A GALLON CHEAPERdonegal petrol priceslast_img read more


first_img1A: Letterkenny Golf Club President Barry Ramsay presenting the club’s new defibrillator to lady member Anne Condon who spearheaded the collection of mobile phones to trade for the device.Also pictured are Lady Captain Catherine Cooke-Harkin and Club Captain Tom Mc Donagh.When it comes to the health of their members, Letterkenny Golf Club know who to call!The culmination of Letterkenny Golf Club’s mobile phone collection drive was achieved this week with the arrival of our long awaited defibrillator.Club members, family and friends collected more than 250 “used” mobile phones which were exchanged for this life saving equipment which will be available in the case of emergencies on the course. A list of volunteers, who have undertaken specific defibrillator training, has been compiled and will be available to operate the machine if necessary, althoughIt is hoped that the defibrillator will be the one piece of equipment that will never have to be put to use.The club committees and members of both men’s and ladies branches would like to give grateful thanks to lady member and 2013 P.R.O. Anne Condon, who spearheaded the mobile phone collection.Thanks also goes to Club President Barry Ramsey who travelled to Dublin for the defibrillator presentation, Nana McFadden, Resusitation Training Officer in HSE who provided the training, all members, family and friends who donated mobile phones, to those who made financial donations and everyone who helped in any way at all.   LETTERKENNY GOLF CLUB MAKES THE CALL TO PUT ITS MEMBERS’ HEALTH FIRST! was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Anne CondondonegalLetterkenny Golf clubmobile phoneslast_img read more


first_imgDonegal manager Rory Gallagher has said he would rather be in Donegal’s shoes than Mayo’s come next Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final.Speaking to DonegalV’s Charlie Collins, the Donegal boss said having played five tough games, his team are physically and mentally ready for the big game. Simply click on the video to play.DDTV: ‘I’D RATHER BE IN OUR SHOES THAN MAYO’S SHOES’, SAYS RORY GALLAGHER was last modified: August 3rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:all-irelanddonegalMayolast_img read more

SA makes strides in medical research

first_imgThe Technology Innovation Agency has joined the patent pool with the goal of boosting its research into tuberculosis drugs. (Image: USAid)   South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency has become the world’s first governmental body to join the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases, established in 2009 by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).Originally known as the GSK and Alnylam Intellectual Property Pool, the initiative facilitates access to intellectual property, knowledge, technologies, and products for companies – wherever they are in the world – that work on combating tropical diseases.Soon after the pool’s launch, it underwent a name change to encourage other pharmaceutical companies, which might be deterred by the close tie to GSK, to join and contribute.Now the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), which was set up to boost scientific innovation in South Africa and is managed according to the TIA Act of 2008, has decided to become a member of the pool.This move is expected to boost the agency’s own plans to stimulate tropical disease research in South Africa.Local researchers will instantly gain access to over 2 300 current drug patents, and will also benefit from the shared knowledge of their international colleagues in significant diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.As a pioneering member, the TIA’s move was recently matched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which became the first university to join the pool.TIA health portfolio manager Dr Carl Montague said that his company is available to help other South African companies implement plans based on information they get from the pool.“We have to ensure that the pool can be meaningfully exploited,” he said.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has one of the highest tuberculosis burdens in the world. The disease is also an opportunistic killer that often targets people living with HIV/Aids, and has been confirmed as the leading cause of death among these patients.Working togetherThe patent pool is administered independently by biotechnology development NGO Bio Ventures for Global Health, based in Washington DC.Based on the Food and Drug Administration’s identification of the neglected tropical diseases it is targeting in its own initiative, 16 diseases have come under the spotlight. They are tuberculosis; malaria; blinding trachoma; buruli ulcer; cholera; dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever; dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease); fascioliasis; human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); leishmaniasis; leprosy; lymphatic filariasis; onchocerciasis; schistosomiasis (bilharzia); soil transmitted helminthiasis; and yaws.It is hoped that, with greater access to intellectual property, the patent pool will lead to new developments in the control of these diseases. GSK has also said it will release some of its drug patents and manufacturing processes, making them available to others without asking for royalties.Membership of the pool, which is voluntary, has been slow to gather momentum, but with the TIA and the world-renowned Massachusetts research university endorsing the initiative by joining, hopes are high that more companies will take the same step.GSK announced earlier in 2010 that it would partner with iThemba Pharmaceuticals, a new Gauteng-based company funded by the Department of Science and Technology, to conduct research into a tuberculosis drug, using technology garnered from the pool and that was submitted by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.This US-based company was the first to release its patents into the pool, adding around 1 500 in 2009. The Alnylam patents focus on RNA interference techniques, which allows the selective shutting off and tuning on of genes in living cells.The two researchers who developed the technique shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2006, and the drugs based on this technique of gene silencing are known as RNAi therapeutics.More such initiatives are expected to flourish as the patent pool’s member base grows in size.Targeting diseaseThe improved control of neglected tropical diseases is a priority of the WHO, which in 2007 called for more funding for research and development into treatment and management strategies.These bacterial and parasitic diseases affect over 1.4-billion people around the world, mostly in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.They are both a cause and a symptom of poverty, proliferating in conditions of poor sanitation, inadequate housing and ineffective insect control. They trap people in a cycle of unemployment and social isolation, leaving them unable to care for their families or themselves.The word “neglected” is used to describe them because major diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and Aids tend to get more funding and support from policy makers and organisations, while lower-profile diseases, although their eradication also presents an opportunity to lift people out of poverty, fall by the wayside.According to the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, the worldwide burden of these illnesses is equal to at least half the total burden of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.last_img read more