Autism Ambassadors of Ghana has launched version 2.0 of the autism aid app to help people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their caregivers have a better understanding of their condition and to improve their knowledge about how to cope with the condition.
The app, which was first launched in 2014, will have four main features: a picture exchange communication exchange, to help children living with Autism to improve on their communication; a helpline feature, which comes at a fee, where professionals can give expert advice to parents and guardians on how to care for their children who are living with the condition; an autism awareness platform, which will provide information on autism to the public; and a USSD code which provides service to those who are not on the Android platform, among other services.
Mrs Abla Dzifa Gomashie, former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, in her opening comments, called on the leaders of the Autism Society of Ghana (ASOC) to strengthen the society to impact future generations.
On her part, the Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs expressed her delight to be a part of the launch. She acknowledged how difficult it is to meet the needs of people living with autism, hence the neglect they usually suffer in society.
She commended the Autism Ambassadors for their work in developing an app to cater for the needs of such a special group of people, especially those found in the villages and small towns, where most of the discrimination and ignorance persist.
“…With this app, we show that these individuals, together with all of us are going to help get all of us get 100% involved, to make sure that their needs are met, no matter how difficult they find it to communicate with us.”
She decried the negative use of technology among the youth, while urging all and sundry to download the Autism Aid app in order to increase awareness about the disorder.
Two mothers of children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mrs Serwaa Quainoo and Mrs Mary Kuffour could not hold back their tears as they recounted the distress they have had to go through living with children who have Autism. Mrs Quainoo told of the distress she went through when her son was arrested by American law enforcement officers because he had had a meltdown.
Mrs Kuffour expressed fear for her daughter now that she was getting older. She was visibly anxious about what the future holds for her daughter.
Their accounts were so poignant that members of the audience could be seen dabbing their eyes.
They used the platform to ask for government to establish schools for children living with autism in the other regions.
The founder of Autism Ambassadors of Ghana, Alice Mamaga Akosua Amoako, recounted how the app started. She also disclosed her vision of having the app working in all 193 UN member countries.
Citing the reason for the re-launch of the app, she declared that it was mainly to provide a stand-alone system for families that do not have smartphones to access the services of the Autism Ambassadors of Ghana.
The Autism Aid app 2.0 can be downloaded via the Android Play Store.