APRIL is Support Asperger Month and Blue April is supported worldwide by governments, municipalities, schools, businesses and the public.
Blue April 2016 is a first for Welkom and many schools, businesses and organisations have come on board as sponsors and supporters. The driving force behind this worthwhile cause in the Goldfields is Frances Podbielski.
Frances’ youngest daughter, Franci, has Asperger and Frances is determined to help and assist all parents with Asperger children.
Frances says the sooner the diagnosis can be made, the sooner the parent or caregiver can start following a programme where the Asperger sufferer can be taught the “how-to-go-abouts” of social skills, handling of their emotions, the solving of everyday problems and other aspects.
“Asperger Syndrome is a mild form of autism. The main features of Asperger becomes obvious during early childhood and remain constant throughout the sufferer’s life,” says Frances.
She says the common features and degree of actual impairment can vary from person to person. Experts warn that there is no blueprint to exactly classify Asperger.
“Most of these children attend normal schools and are often victims of teasing, bullying and misunderstanding,” says Frances.
- Asperger adults and children have challenges with the use and understanding of language in social context.
- They find it difficult to read into a situation and/or understand body language.
- They are visual thinkers and find difficulty understanding the abstract use of idioms, jokes and sarcastic comments.
- They need to be taught social behaviour that comes naturally to others.
- They find it difficult to work in groups.
- Some people with Aspergers find it painful to make eye contact.
- Some have superior skills in a particular area, such as painting, writing, maths, composition, electronics and so on.
- Others have extreme sensitivity to light, taste, noise or smell. It is said that, among others, Einstein, Mozart and Michelangelo might have had Aspergers. Well-known people with Aspergers include Susan Boyle, Bill Gates and Dr Temple Grandin, an American doctor of animal science.
“St Dominique will wrap trees in blue and dress up in blue on April Fridays.
“The learners of this school will also have a surprise for the early morning traffic in front of their school on Friday, 15 April. This surprise will be sponsored by Welkom Square.
“Also, look out for the Welkom Tower that will be lit in blue by the Matjhabeng Publicity Society,” Frances says.
“ACE Models also sponsors Asperger Autism through a fashion show on 23 April.
“Many companies will wrap a tree in blue in favour of supporting Asperger Autism,” says Frances.
The Asperger Goldfields Support Group meets once a month at Podbielski Attorneys in Stateway.
Asperger Goldfields can be found on Facebook and is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO).
Contact Podbielski on 082-775-7166 about enquiries on the campaign, Aspergers or the support group.