Attitude is everything, our attitude is based on how we treat other people.

Small or big things we do whether consciously or unconsciously defines and reflects who we really are from within.

Lately I embarked on a journey and the only way to get to my destination was by using a public transport. I got into a Minbus and I had to wait for a couple minutes for it to get filled up. After some minutes, a gentleman came to my side, he also had some intellectual problems. He looked to have had stroke a long time ago, his right side of his body was not as functional as the left side of his body (right hemiplegia). In his untidy clothes, he came straight to a Minbus I boarded and asked the minbus attendant about the route the bus was taking only to find out that the bus was also going the same way he was going and then he asked if he could have a seat in that minbus and the minbus attendant gave him a seat. The driver upon seeing the guy helping himself into a Minbus, he screamed;

“No! No! Not this one in my Minbus! No!, he is psychotic patient.”

Then the guy in his slow voice said;

“but I have money, and am going to pay for my seat,”

Sadly the driver couldn’t allow the guy to get into the Minbus still and the guy continued showing his money to the driver, he was ready to pay for a seat in that Minbus but the driver kept on saying “NO”.

This whole issue got my attention to a point that I had to intervene and ask the driver to give me a valid reason for not allowing that gentleman to board His Minbus, in his explanation, it showed how disabled his attitudes were. This driver needed more help than this man with a disability. His attitude was ill line and so disabled. He just hated the guy for no good reason, a clear prejudice. After a short conversation and reasoning with the driver, he softened up and allowed him to get into his Minbus and in the end, the guy paid for his own seat.

This was a pure discrimination to a person with disability. This driver failed to see a man who was abled to pay for his own bills, a man who was capable of what was required of him to use his minbus but instead he saw a disability, a man in need of help, a man who couldn’t pay for his own transport, a man who needed to be fixed and isolated.

This is what we call attitudinal discrimination (negative valuations of disabled people by non-disabled people). This kind of attitude, is killing our transport systems by making them not accessible and inclusive enough to people with disabilities. This is a very disabling attitude.

Often people define people by their disability rather than their personality. A person has to come first before a disability.

Let me finish my blog by quoting Action on Disability and Development (ADD);

“We cannot give the blind person sight. We can give the sighted person the ability to enable the blind person to do what s/he wants.

Disabled people’s needs are basically the same as non-disabled people’s: for life, love, education, employment, full participation in society, access to adequate services (including medical, transport and rehabilitation services when necessary) as of right, and some choice and degree of control in their lives.

The problem of disability lies in society’s response to the individual and the impairment, and in the physical environment, which is mainly designed (largely by non-disabled people) to meet the needs of non- disabled people. Disability takes on a social dimension and leads to social exclusion and the denial of human rights. The solution to the problems of disability must therefore come from change within the families, communities, and societies in which disabled people are living, rather than from changes in the impaired individual.”

For me, this settles everything. Attitude is everything.

Scot Hamilton said, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”




I usually get concerned with how people with epilepsy are treated in the society. I have been privileged to have worked with so many clients with epilepsy as a medical Rehabilitation Technician for about 4 years. I’ve seen a lot on how people with epilepsy suffer discrimination in the society, treated as if they are the second citizens or aliens from another planet.

Some months ago I was privileged to be part of the Epilepsy sensitisation with an aim to create Epilepsy awareness amongst the villagers in some of the two remote villages here in Malawi. In all these two villages I went to, before we start our program, I had time to assess the groups knowledge about Epilepsy and the results I usually got from them were not different from what I usually get from random people I usually ask about Epilepsy. During my entire experience in my field of Medical Rehabilitation, especially when I deal with the issue of epilepsy, the information I usually get from many people is that, “Epilepsy is psychosis”. It’s as if a person with Epilepsy is automatically considered a psychotic patient. This is how a lot of people generalise and jump to conclusion even though with little information about this topic, this in return has heavily contributed to discrimination to people with these two medical conditions.

A lot of persons with epilepsy and psychosis are considered objects of abuse and mostly in different areas are considered demon posed. Many of the disabilities that persons with epilepsy have sustained or acquired are due to lack of support and care. Usually persons with epilepsy in the villages are left to take care of themselves and considered to be difficult.

I have also discovered that people do not know how to handle a person when before, in and after seizure. This is a very big problem that has resulted in many disabilities to persons with epilepsy. Sometimes (not in all cases), when a person with seizure is about to fall into a seizure, he or she becomes very irritable and mostly the response to this has been tying the person against a tree or just tying the whole body with lops. This usually results into trauma to a person for mostly involuntarily, a person resists with too much force and power that might result into breaking of bones and some other trauma to the skin or fresh. Some who are left alone, they fall into a hard surface or sharp objects that might result into losing of limbs or any other body parts or cause damage to the body. Some if left alone they might fall on a hot object or fire that might cause burn to the body. Some because they lose touch with the reality, they become so violent especially in those circumstances where seizures are not controlled by medications, they beat up people or cause damage to the property so in this case people they respond by beating them up. This information I got from people especially those whose relative are epileptic.

The problem is, we define a person by a medical condition present, label them with that and we fail to see the personality and the potential in that person, all we see is something that needs to be fixed and this brings discrimination (and isolation) and again it brings lose of self esteem in the a person with this condition.

I have also discovered that persons with epilepsy are considered potentially dangerous of which it’s true in those circumstances where seizures are not controlled by medications. Different people with epilepsy respond and shows different signs during, before and after seizure. The response or signs are affected too by whether a person is taking epileptic medication that might help in controlling the seizures or not. Epilepsy can be so disabling if not managed very well. There are medications that can manage epilepsy today.

Let me share some information from some literatures I’ve read about this:

Psychosis (known to psychiatrists as psychotic disorder) is a severe mental disorder in which the person loses contact with reality. The prevalence of this type of disorder in people with epilepsy has not been established, but the percentage affected is certainly small. It does seem clear, however, that some forms of psychosis are closely linked to the occurrence of seizures and differ from the psychotic disorders that affect other people. In general, psychotic episodes in people with epilepsy tend to be less severe and respond better to therapy.

Of course, some people with epilepsy also have psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia) that are not directly related to their epilepsy. They are treated in the same way as other people with the same disorder, except that both the neurologist and psychiatrist need to consider the interactions between seizure medicines and the medications used for the psychosis. Most medications used to treat psychotic disorders make seizures more likely, and medication interactions may require both doctors to prescribe dosages that differ from what they usually give to other patients.

Most of the information in this article is based on Kanner AM: Psychosis of epilepsy: A neurologist’s perspective. (Epilepsy Behav 2000; 1(4):219-227.)

Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

Anyone can develop epilepsy. Epilepsy affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

Epilepsy can further be defined as a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar.

The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown. The word “epilepsy” does not indicate anything about the cause of the person’s seizures or their severity.

(Epilepsy foundation)

It would be wrong to always jump to a conclusion to say that an epileptic person or patient is also a psychotic patient. A psychotic and epileptic person or patient, both of them requires care, love and support like any other person in the society, they need not to be considered as second citizens of the community. They might have a medical condition but they also have potential to contribute to the development of the community and country. These two medical conditions are manageable if treatment is prescribed and ministered by a Dr, there are medications to manage these conditions.

“It is important for community (that includes church family) to be there for individuals with mental health needs, not to make demands but to support. Some may need practical help, others emotional support. Sometimes just ‘being there’ is what is needed.

For some their mental health problems are temporary and they come out the other side. For others, these problems can be life-changing and longer-lasting, the community, church and family needs to plan a course of action and support for such individuals.” (Jonathan Clack Director of Premier Life narrated)

To agree with Jonathan, this is what we need to be doing and need to do if we are to change and build a Society and a Church that is more inclusive and accessible to all. Each one of us needs to be loved, cared and considered as a human being that was created by God and valued. Some of these disabilities can be prevented just by and with a single act of love in action.



Always early identification of disorders leads to early intervention that brings good results in the end.

As a young Mediacal Rehabilitation Technician, I’ve been privileged to work with kids in the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I’ve discovered during my work experience that so many parents and so many other people with kids falling in Autistic Spectrum Disorder find it hard to know when the child is autistic or is falling under the Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Let not the big words am gonna be using in this blog scare you. Understanding this, will help in the early identification of Disorders under this Spectrum of which in return will lead into early intervention (if you seek for it, I can highly recommend this) which in the end will bring good results.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not a specific diagnosis but an umbrella term under which the specific diagnosis are defined, these include: Autistic Disorders, Aspergers Disorders, PDD, Childhood Disintegrative Disorders and Retts Syndrome. I shall define and explained these disorders in detail in my next blog.
ASD or PDD are behavioural based diagnoses. The disorders are characterised/diagnosed based on observations and reported behaviours from the impairment triad:
1- Impairments in social interaction 

2- Delays or impairments in communication 

3- Repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behaviour, interest or active. 

The abnormalities are pervasive in nature affecting the individuals functioning in all situations.
No blood tests, brain scan or genetic marker yet exists for diagnosis. The rehab personnel shall ask you questions based on the tried of impairments. 
In this blog I would like to focus on Autistic Disorder especially on how to detect the risk of autism in children at an early stage. Usually Autistic disorder popularly known as Autism is characterised by the impairments from the triad of impairments that is: 
– Impaired social interaction

– Impaired communication 

– Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns or behaviours, interests and activities 

Now let’s talk about (with no limitation for other literatures talk more and different on on this) the basics early autism signs that can be detected as risk of autism at an early stage in children. 
The following signs might mean a risk of autism:
First 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions. Infants typically smile when smiled at, but babies with developmental delays often don’t respond to smiles from caregivers. Diagnosing autism early helps children get the services they need to help them achieve their highest level of functioning. By a certain age, most babies respond to a facial expression or a smile, especially from a parent. Keep in mind that babies start showing joyful expression at different ages but if it’s not there up until the age of six months to a year, this can be an early sign of autism.
By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions. Early signs of autism in babies and toddlers often involve the absence of normal development, not the presence of abnormal behavior. For example, if your baby does not make eye contact when you are doing things, such as feeding or playing with her, it could be a sign of a problem. In general, babies are interested in faces and will meet a parent or caregiver’s eyes at least some of the time. If your baby or toddler resists eye contact on a regular basis.
By 12 months: Lack of response to name. Kid, baby, boy, child, no hearing, hears no evil An infant should generally respond to his or her name with increasing consistency from 6 to 12 months of age. Lack of responsiveness to one’s name is a sign of developmental delay.
By 14 months: No babbling or “baby talk.” Babbling refers to the sounds that babies make before they begin to talk, such as vowel and consonant combinations like “ba”, “da”, and “gee”. Speech delays are not always due to autism. There are several different conditions that can lead to delayed language development. But in many instances, toddlers will compensate for language delays by finding ways to communicate other than using words. For example, babies and toddlers who do not use any words, will make gestures and point to objects. Babies will often lift their arms up to let you know they want to be picked up. This type of nonverbal communication is also part of language development, which children with autism may not display.
By 16 months: No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving. Such as pointing to ask for things or pointing to get someone’s attention, besides pointing and showing. 16 month old children should also be reaching to be picked up, waving, and shaking their head (for “no”).
This period is pretty similar to the 14 Month Period. Speech delays are not always due to autism. There are several different conditions that can lead to delayed language development. But in many instances, toddlers will compensate for language delays by finding ways to communicate other than using words. For example, babies and toddlers who do not use any words, will make gestures and point to objects. Babies will often lift their arms up to let you know they want to be picked up. 
By 18 months: No spoken words. Side to a no spoken words, Some children with autism may be under sensitive to sound or touch. They may not seem to feel pain. For instance, a child with autism may not cry when they fall and obviously cut themselves. The opposite can also be true. Some children are overly sensitive to touch. For example, they may not like the feel of fabric against their skin or certain textures of food.
By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases. That don’t involve imitating or repeating. Not looking at caregivers when communicating or playing with them, not imitating actions like clapping hands, banging on a drum, or people’s speech sounds, Other sign to watch, not looking in the direction of a caregiver’s finger when he or she points to something. For example, a typical 12- month old will look when their mother points to a toy on the shelf

By any age: Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills. Another early sign of autism is the loss of any recently acquired skills. Babies and young children are quickly learning all types of things from language skills to walking. In fact, it may seem your toddler learns several new words every day. But if your child seems to be regressing and losing skills, words or social connections, it could be a red flag.

Babies thrive on affection. In fact, research shows babies who do not get cuddled or shown physical affection can have development delays. Although babies and young children do vary on how much snuggling and affection they enjoy, most babies and toddlers do enjoy hugs and affection from their parents. Babies who do not want to be touched may resist cuddles or squirm to get away from a hug. You may also notice your baby is excessively fussy with no known cause and is hard to comfort. This resistance to affection may be due to sensory disorders issues that can accompany autism. Additionally, some children with autism have a difficult time showing expressions of affection and bonding.
This type of regression doesn’t happen with all children with autism. But approximately 20% to 50% of parents of children with autism report that their child lost some of his or her skills during the second year, usually around 18 months of age  and 24. 
It’s important to understand if your child displays some of the symptoms above it does not necessarily mean he has autism. There are normal variations in development. Parents should understand children reach developmental milestones at different ages. Comparing every milestone stone with a friend’s baby may cause unnecessary stress.
During my research on this blog, I found these Autism risk signs worthy sharing from peptalkbox. 
If your child has any of the early warning signs of autism, seek help right away so that s/he can receive the intervention s/he needs as early as possible. Remember, early intervention brings good results. 
In my next blog, I shall be talking about the available intervention of autism.


“It takes the whole community to raise a child” So they say 😎

I’ve lived long enough, and I’ve seen enough to conclude that we are living in broken societies, there is no sanity, no safety, no grace, no love, no mercy, as people we’ve lost it all and we seem to be okay with it, sadly, we are all busy with our own business without caring about our neighbours, it’s every man on his own, we all want to achieve something. These societies however, haven’t worsened to a point beyond redemption, so this gives them hope. 

I live in a community that is so busy during both day and night, and a community that consists of a lot of people doing different businesses, and a lot of them come from different villages to do businesses here. It’s a very popular community in my city. 

Often when something bad happens to a person who is able (so to say), it’s a big issue and investigations would be issued till someone is brought to justice, but it’s a different case when the same kind of thing happens to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities in many societies are considered as rejects, outcasts, good for nothing, objects of charity, some use them as objects to get what they want, people take advantage of them especially persons with intellectual disability, for they know that they have a problem with memory recall. People with disabilities, are now a target of object of abuse. It’s rotten out here, there are stories that haven’t been told, stories of abuse and discrimination. People seem not to care, everyone seems to be busy with their own business and personal life, we seem to have forgotten the love of our neighbor that our creator commanded us to steward. 

I’ve come to a conclusion that it’s not like we don’t know what’s going on out there in the lives of persons with disabilities, but it’s just that we don’t care about it. 

Lately, I’ve had a conversation with a mother who has a 15 year old Down syndrome young, beautiful girl. She shared with me about her heart and fears for her daughter and the discrimination that she has received in her life. The mother, shared with me about the sexual abuse that her child had been through over a few years ago and that made her to stop her child from going to school anymore. The abuse came from a community that was supposed to protect her. This young lady, got raped 3 times by some stupid old kabanza taxi drivers (bicycle taxi), and senseless men who used there offers to take her home from school, to only take advantage of her. She is but just an innocent young girl. The third time she got raped was by her neighbor, on this account she was able to tell her mother, only after her mother noticed some changes in her and began to ask questions. The man was brought to justice and now serving jail sentence, but those other two men went free for, she can not recall who they are. This young little girl, stays with her old parents, they always try to protect their daughter with the best of their abilities and they expect the community to help them in doing so. For she also believes that raising a kid takes the whole community. 

The second time she got raped was on her way home, by the bicycle taxi, driver who offered her transport, after this transpired she was confused and she got upset to the point of not wanting to go home but instead she found solace in visiting her uncle. On her way to her uncle’s home, her clothes were torn and she was in a bad state and that she couldn’t answer anybody who could ask her what happened to her, to the extent that people in the community thought she was a mad girl and they began to mock her, stone and beat her to a point that she got injured which led her to be hospitalized. 

Some may say, her mother and her other guardians haven’t been doing a good job in taking care of her by letting their kid go to school alone and all that. But her Parent’s have tried all that they can and have trusted in the community to help them raise their kid, and all that they wanted was for their kid to get educated like the rest, and be free in the community that they had believed in to help raise their kid “as it takes a whole community to raise a child”, of which in the end did not result as they believed for their kids. 

After I heard about this sad issue, and noticed that the kid was not going to school any longer. Hence in my quest to create an environment in which the kids that attended our special needs programs would have fun, I went to follow up on the issue only to find out that all that i had heard was sadly true. I felt I needed to act though by then it seemed I was amongst a few people who where interested in this story. I talked to my friend who works with one of our local Television Station in my city and she had to come with her team to follow up and do an interview on camera with the parents and the kid too, and the whole issue was beamed on TV and one of my friend and expert on the issues of disabilities joined the interview. I came up with this idea to raise the awareness of the abuse and discrimination that people with disabilities are experiencing in our societies. 

Then I heard of another story of a Down syndrome boy, a teenager, who has again experienced some sexual abuse where some big girls could invite him and undress him only to play with his private parts, so disgusting, this went on until his dad got the news and went to confront the girls. 

Sad and heart breaking stories have and are happening where people with disabilities are being the victims, but justice does not seem to prevail in our societies. It’s not like the society doesn’t know about the abuse or the victimisers have no idea of what they are doing but they don’t just care and are taking advantage of the disability calling them rejects and objects with no substance. This is sad. We don’t have something put in place to protect those in the minority (if I may be allowed to use that word in this context). Something aught to be done about this to deal with this attitudinal discrimination.

We’ve forgotten that we all are in this thing called life together, we are watching while things are going worse and worse everyday and do nothing about it.

Timothy Keller said;                       “The idea of cities is not an accident nor a human inversion. God designed with certain purposes, cities were designed to be places of refuge and safety, cities are to provide protection for all, they are to best places for women and children, the minority and for other people without power in social order so as the communities. Cities were designed to be places of justice so as the communities. These ideas as it were, they are still standing, this is how it suppose to be, but today, sin has broken cities so that non of the original purposes are being properly realised. The Bible denounces cities as places of violence, pride, injustice and unbelief. The density and diversity of the city under sin create a place of racism, classism, discrimination and violence, and it has also become a place of escape from God and His law, everything is done to glorify man not God. Cities under sin turn to be a place of pride, arrogance, excess, overwork and exhaustion. 

If we are to seek the peace and prosperity of our cities and communities then we need to think of how to restore the cities to their original purposes, firstly we need to serve and love those who need help and protection. We should be seeking to serve the needs of others no matter their race nor class instead of seeking to use others to meet our own needs. We also need to do justice, we need to bring God’s love, peace, and justice to bear on a broken world.”

With the advice from Timothy Keller, we can possibly rebuild our broken cities and societies that would be more inclusive and accessible to all, where there shall be no discrimination nor cases of these kind of the abuses. 

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7)

God cares so much about our cities and communities, and the people who are living in it. It’s our call and duty to love them too as God does. We need to be a people that will seek the peace and prosperity of our cities and societies, we need to pray to the Lord for it, for when it prospers, we too shall prosper. May we grow into a people who will be seeking and dreaming to live in cities and societies that shall be more inclusive and accessible to all without discrimination. The issue of inclusion and accessibility is very much an issue of the heart and attitudes, it’s about the change of mindset that sees people, not as objects of charity or abuse but as equals, as men and women, boys and girls who are equal to us in God’s standing. 

It is the restricted thinking that many people have towards the persons with disabilities that brings discrimination in our churches and societies. This is a call to a change of our attitudes towards persons with disability. Remember that all can contribute to the building of the kingdom of God and should receive the blessings of giving and receiving. All have the right to dignity and all other rights available for all.

I think it’s our societies that needs more therapies/help than persons with disability for they are more disabled that a person with disability. 

We have caused so much damage to the body of Christ through the abuse and the discrimination towards persons with disability and it’s sad. We need to repent of our abuse and discrimination to the body of Christ for the sake of of the prosperity of our society, for if it prospers, we too will prosper.

“I really want to see a world where nobody is discriminated because of his or her disability or any other status,” (Yetnebersh Nigussie)
So do I (in agreement with Yetnebersh).

Thank you for reading my blog, please leave a comment. God bless you.



Autism is one amongst common disabilities. 

As we are working towards an inclusive Church and Society, I think it’s important that we need to learn and understand the different types of disabilities. Here, I want to share about Autism. Medicine explains Autism in a very deep way, but I’ve found an easy way of how we can learn and relate to autism, than how I would explain it with a medical reference as a Medical Rehab Tech in regards to the subject of Inclusive Church and Society. 

From the book “Making Church Accessible to all (Including people with disability in church life), page 76-78” by Tony Phelps, Ann Memmott, an adult on the autism spectrum who advises churches on autism inclusion, shared her experience. I’ve decided to share her practical experience in my blog because I find it very helpful and significant as it is coming from someone who is in the autism spectrum.

As you read, imagine Ann speaking to you directly. When she says “we” or “us,” she is referring to people with autism, a group of which she is part. 

Here is her experience;

“One in 100 people is on the autism spectrum, which includes Asperger syndrome. ‘Classic autism’ is a combination of autism, and a learning disability, whereas Asperger syndrome is now believed to be autism without a learning disability. Everything in this chapter is a generalisation as everyone will be somewhat different. 

Autism is a brain design difference. As far as we know, it happens before birth, and no one knows why. Our brains are wired to be excellent at specialised tasks but are fairly hopeless at understanding social relationships. Often a very mixed blessing. We’re on average ten times more accurate than other people but bits of the brain that ‘decode’ people’s behaviour, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and tone of voice are not wired up very well. 
We can struggle to understand non verbal meaning, so we often need really clear explanations to tell us how someone is feeling. We can also struggle to use body language and tone of voice to tell others how we’re feeling. We cannot always understand complicated language or long sentences or metaphors. We are, however, hugely loyal, honest people who make splendid friends once you win our trust. We are often great seekers of social justice, able to work painstakingly towards a better future for everyone. Some of us are church leaders and church advisers. Many of us have a huge range of good speech, but no clue of how to use it to pursued others to like us and support our work. That luck of social understanding and our social ‘clumsiness’ is the problem. Being able to speak is one thing. Knowing what to say and what not to say is another, that’s the bit. We improve with time, practice, and good friends guiding us in the rules. We can be very direct in what we say, but it’s not meant to be rude or sound aggressive. 

We may stand too close to people because we can’t see them properly and can’t work out how far we are. It’s not meant in a threatening way. Someone on the autism spectrum may seek a reassuring hug or hand holding. This should not seem as either intimacy or threat. It is often because our brains don’t produce a chemical called ‘Oxytocin,’ which helps people to use social skills and keep calm. The comfortable pleasure of, say, a blanket wrapped around us, or a safe agreed touch, can boost the chemical, but if people touch us unexpectedly, it can really hurt, because of our heightened skin sensitivity. Always ensure that you ask for permission and are sensible, open and safe with the use of touch.

People on the autism spectrum have a huge need to know what’s going to happen that day and in what order. Eight out of ten of us also have sensory processing difficulties. If someone is blind, it means they can not see enough. If they are deaf, it means they cannot hear enough. With autism, we may see, hear, feel, smell, and taste too much, all the time. It’s an avalanche of information from our senses, and our brains aren’t good at working out what’s important information and what’s not. 

Eight out of ten of us think visually rather than in words, which means that we try to visualise what a word looks like or what someone would be doing. This is why metaphors and expectations can be such a struggle for us. 

We may use repetitive body movements or sounds (stimming), such as rocking back and forth or hand-flapping or repeating a particular sound. It may seem odd, but it helps us to know where our bodies are, and helps to cope. If it’s not disruptive, it’s not a problem. 

We often prefer to make friends with one or two people, because big groups are such a hard work for our brains. If those friends aren’t there, we can find being in a bigger group quite stressful and may need extra reassurance. 

We autism people are all individuals, having our own interests, loves and dislikes, as other people do, but we also, do have those few differences. 

In summary, we are not good at automatically coping with social situations, copping with random events or copping in busy, bright, noisy places for long. Sooner or later our brain wiring overheats, which means we need time out to cool it down again. If that happens, we need a quite space away from people, no fuss or social conversation, and the chance to just ‘be’ for a while. The offer of a blanket or coat to wrap round us helps us if we are in a panic.”

We can learn through Ann’s personal experience as a person with autism, she practically shared how we can include and approach persons with autism, if taken into consideration this would result into an inclusive and accessible church and community. This is also a great opportunity to learn about the expectations of persons with autism and have a good understanding of autism. 

Reading and learning from Ann has showed me that people with autism are nice people and have something to offer just like any other person if given a chance to give and respond to the church or the society. We are all unique in a certain way, we were made to depend on each other and we are here to compliment one another for we all have something to offer to one another. All we need to learn is, to adjust to one another so as to grow and enjoy our relationships that God has given us to steward rather than looking down on each other. Each one of us is unique, yet we each have a place to take alongside others.

Being accessible makes it possible for people to gain entry and join us. Being inclusive goes beyond that, this describes how we as people, our attitudes and approach to others, has the warmth of welcome to the new arrivals, the encouragement and support given so that people can get the most out of what church and society has to offer and can feel at home. With this in mind, we need to understand the different disabilities and how to approach them so that each person in the society or church feels included and welcome. In any relationship for us to grow in it and enjoy it, we need to learn how to adjust to one another so that we can accommodate one another.

We are in this thing called life together, in this life, there is no Lone Ranger, therefore, we are to depend on each other, that’s how God made us to be. 

When we realise that we are all humans, and that we all have real life stuff, we treat each other differently, we are gentle with each other, we encourage each other, we learn from each other, together we grow, we all become brothers keeper, we stand for one another, we don’t judge each other, that’s Christ likeliness. The reality still remains the same, we are all in this life together despite our conditions or categories. None of us have figured it all out, we are here to learn from each other, we need to give each other Grace, let The Holly spirit teach us, then we all together gonna figured it all out and together we shall grow and enjoy our relationships on earth together.

Toure (PT) Roberts once said, and I quote; “the human being is a rare, delicate and immeasurably valuable creation and therefore must always be handled with agapé love.” 

From Ann’s experience we can learn a lot, which can powerfully impact our Sunday school’s (kids church), nursery or reception school and schools in general, Church and Societies, any gatherings where people are involved so that they all become more inclusive and accessible. 

May we be inclusive people who reach out and empower those who have been disabled by others but have not been disempowered by God. May our hearts and attitudes be those that are inclusive and accessible first, so as to accommodate others.

My next blog shall be about the Myths Debunked Autism that Ann shared and I shall be looking at each point (kinda like a review).
Let me recognise the wonderful people who have inspired me to write this: Tony Phelps Jones, Ann Memmott and Toure (PT) Roberts. 

Please leave your comment below so that we also hear and learn from you.



Human beings are created to live in relationship with one another, rather than in isolation. It is through relationships that our characters and values develop.

Everyone in the society and in our church should count, for every life matters to God our creator.  

To include is to make path ways or avenues for everyone to hear, understand, and respond to the good news of Christ to the best of their abilities, to be allowed to participate, given a chance to contribute like everyone else, to give, to enjoy, and feel welcomed and be part of the church and community. It’s an issue change of mindset of not seeing persons with disabilities not as objects of charity but as equals, as boys and girls, men and women who are equal in God standing.

It all begins by the change of our attitudes and mindset towards persons with disabilities. It all begins by seeing disability beyond disability, where as we see the person before the disability. It all starts with an Inclusive people who have understood that our God is an Inclusive God and that inclusion is what also concerns Him much (Read Mathew 28:19-20), it also goes with inclusive thinking, inclusive ministry, inclusive language, inclusive life, inclusive buildings and an inclusive society, these are the aspects we need to understand if we are to get to a state of inclusive Church and Society, this is where it all begins. 

We could also say that the word accessible is to deal with the building, and the word inclusive is to deal with the people; to change our attitudes and our mindset toward persons of disability.   
It’s not only the church and society that needs to be inclusive. An inclusive church and society starts with inclusive individuals, inclusive minds and inclusive positive attitudes.

THE TREE MAJOR DISCRIMINATION Now let’s look at three major types of the discrimination that are out there toward the persons with disability. 

Three major types of discrimination have been identified: attitudinal, environmental, and institutional. 

Disabled people may be socially excluded by attitudes of fear and ignorance by non-disabled people, who may use negative and pejorative language about them; or they may be excluded from society because of generally low expectations of what disabled people can achieve. 
Environmental discrimination occurs when public services, buildings, and transport services are not designed with access for disabled citizens. Institutional discrimination occurs when the law discriminates (explicitly or by omission) against the rights of disabled people, making them in some way second-class citizens – without the right to vote, to own land, to attend school, to marry and have children. (Alison Harris with Sue Enfield)

There are many verses from the Bible that can testify about this but I’ll just share a few.
I was reading the “Capernaum Board Handbook” that had a beautiful translation of Mathew 28 about the mission and call to the church by Jesus Christ; “The mission and call to the church by Jesus Christ is to go and make disciples of all nations, baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and The Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). How well do we know this as Christians? Yet even though “all nations” include physically, intellectually and developmentally challenged people, we see little, if any, evidence of this is in most Christian enterprises today. So we start here as a reminder that Jesus’ call in Matthew 28 is a call for the body of Christ to see out all people. Everyone is invited to the party. To people with disabilities, this is especially good news, for they rarely are invited and welcomed anywhere.”

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

Now, we also see that God cares for all and His intentions are to make sure that we all enjoy Him as His own creation. In John 3:16, we see how God cares so much about His creation that He sent His only son to die for us, so that we all who believe in Him should not perish but have internal life. This is an invitation to all His creation and He also invites us as the Church and Society to do everything for all just as He sent His son to die for all of us not excluding anyone despite our physical or psychological state of being. 

This is my prayer that as the Church we will wake up from our sleep and respond to the call of Jesus Christ.

Outside the door of every congregation, there are those who cannot enter, or once in, do not feel welcome. Through your outreach, you will be fulfilling God’s mandate to make the House of God fully inclusive to ALL the people of God! (Reverend Harold H. Wilke, Founder and Director the Healing Community).

When we think of persons with disabilities in relation to ministries, we tend to automatically think of doing something for them. We do not reflect that they can do something for us and with us…they have the same duty as all members of the community to do the Lord’s work in the world, according to their God given talents and capacities. (Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities, no. 17, NOD, 2001). 
Allah does not judge according to your bodies and appearances, but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds. (Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam). 

Remember that all can contribute to the building of the kingdom of God and should receive the blessings of giving and receiving. All members need a friend, an assignment or calling and nourishing by the word of God (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).

It’s of Gospel importance that we look at Disability beyond disability, if we are to achieve the “Inclusive Church and Society.”
It is the restricted thinking that many people have toward the persons with disabilities that bring discrimination in our churches and societies. This is a call to a change of our attitudes towards persons living with disability.

“Now Jesus met many people with illnesses and disabilities, but I don’t believe Jesus saw a ‘disabled person’; he saw a person, a full and whole person, who may have had a disability but had much more to him or her than that [Jesus] revealed there were many around who were far disabled, paralysed by legalism and having suffered an amputation of compassion and care.” (Nick Stanton explains)

It’s of a Gospel importance that we need to look at Disability beyond disability, it’s not a call to the Church only, but an individual call to all of us if we are to complete the body of Christ. 

“As far as am concerned, an accessible Church & Society is one where the members “ignore” the disability but instead “see” or “relate” to the person with the disability. If we all consider one another, with more respect for people who are different, life would be more better for everyone.” (Andrew Bartley)

It’s of a Gospel importance that we need to look at Disability beyond disability, it’s not just the church’s call but an individual call to all of us, if we are to complete the body of Christ. 

We need all the models of disability intervention (Medical, Social and Relational) but most importantly, we need a model that will help us to steward the issues of disability, that model that will help us to empower and include persons with disabilities. We need to map out something that will help us see the identity of a person clearly in the Lord rather than from the disability itself or how the society defines it. This model is called, “THE RELATIONAL MODEL.” I found this model very significant in the issues of inclusion. Bellow is how Tony Phelps Jones explained it from the book; “Making Church accessible to all”:

Human beings are created to live in relationship with others than in isolation. It is through relationships that our character and values develop. In the relational model, we work together to make the best of any circumstances in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. We recognise that we are all dependent on others for elements of our daily life and needs, so a key word in this model is ‘interdependency’. Everyone has something to contribute, from which others can benefit. This sits comfortably with the New Testament understanding of church and the indispensability of every person. 

Each of the models we’ve considered (Medical, Social and Relational models of disability) can help our thought process, but the relational model draws us back to God as we consider God’s view of people and their potential. The tri-approach (using the 3 models of disability) can bring very good results too. You can learn more about the 3 models of disability intervention from my previous blog.

An inclusive faith community means that every person, regardless of ability, is offered the same respect and opportunity to participate in their worshiping community. Differences are both accommodated and celebrated so that each individual feels a sense of welcome and belonging. (Pathways.org)

In all societies, many families respond to disability by being over-protective. They rarely allow disabled family members to go outside the home, in case they get hurt or ridiculed. Everyhing is done for the disabled person, includ- ing things that he or she would be perfectly able to do independently. The effect of this over-protectiveness, usually motivated by love, is to render the disabled person passive and inactive, and to feel helpless and patronised. Denied the freedom to take risks and responsibility or to learn from mistakes, he or she is permanently treated as a child, and not allowed to grow up. 

“Disabled people want to be treated as normal citizens, with rights. They want to be treated equally and participate as equal citizens in their own communities. To achieve this, you need political and social action to change society.” (Alison Harris with Sue Enfield ” Disability, Equality, and Human Rights A Training Manual
for Development and Humanitarian Organisations”)

A welcoming Church and Society as part of inclusive offers empowerment, not pity; advocacy not avoidance; and support not stigma. (Disability and Faith)

May we be inclusive people who reach out to those who have been disabled by others but never disempowered by God. May our Church and Societies be the ones in which everyone is considered as a Human created in God’s image and have something to offer and contribute. May we be inclusive by also not overlooking the needs of the persons with disability. The issue of inclusion lies at the heart of a Chrisian who is a follower of Jesus Christ and honours His church. We need to workout something that will allow all people to initiate and engage in the activities in our own churches and societies at each ones capacity and best of ability, where all people will be empowered, able to respond and contribute for the good of the community and church development. 

Key things to focus on: Empowerment, Engage, Discipleship, Listening, Leadership development, Identity, Invitation, Accommodate, Cerebrate, Disability, Access, Society, Church, and Home.

I got much inspired to write this by my own experience in my own church and community and in the activities am engaged in and the conversation I’ve had with different people including persons with disabilities (especially the care givers “mothers”) of persons (children) with disabilities and got some inspiration from different articles and video clips talking about disability and again I’ve been inspired by the things that have surrounded me. 

http://fb.me/CSDisability (You can access much of my thoughts about Disability, Church and Society in writing through this link). I would like to hear from you too so please leave a comment.


Not all angels need to have wings.

As I am travelling to Mzuzu for interviews aboard one of the most comfortable buses in town and while in the bus, am processing through my mind, what has been happening to me in my church for the past few Sundays.

I have a friend who is a mother to this sweet, little adopted daughter, who is an angel, she is autistic and she is so cute. Every Sunday her mom comes with her to church, because she loves church a lot, especially when it is time for worship. 
On one Sunday during church service, she left her mom and run straight into my arms, hugged me and gave me this beautiful smile. By the way, at church I am privileged to serve and lead the Hospitality ministry, so I am always at the back with my team, serving the Lord through the congregation. Back to my story; this is not the first time this sweet angel has done this precious and awesome gesture to me, but this time around I noticed something beautiful in her that humbled my pride. I can’t seem to remember what songs we were singing at that particular time, but it was a sweet worship song. I helped this sweet little angel to sit on a piece of wood that I like to sit on during the time to listen to the message, and so I stood near her. The little angel raised her arms in worship and I could see that she was into the worship song and the song too, was into her . She Closed her eyes and with arms raised in the air, while she praised the Lord, I stood by her side smiling and admiring the beauty of her gesture in praising and worshiping her maker. This whole thing melted my heart, I tell you, “raised hands of an autistic child praising God, just like any other person.” While i stood by her side, I joined her in worshiping and praising the Lord, though I couldn’t tell what she was saying, I didn’t mind because I knew whatever it was, the Lord heard and it made sense and made Him smile too.  
Recently, on Sunday, I was in church again. In our church, we have a kids church (in some churches they call it Sunday school), this is an environment where kids are given an opportunity to learn and grow in Love with the Lord, at their own pace and in the way that they can relate and understand effectively as kids. We have well trained and committed leaders within the church who are responsible for this. So this Little angel came again, but left after worship, to go and attend the kids church together with the other kids. After the kids church had finished, she came into the main service, she was so free that she didn’t want anyone to touch her including her mom, so she she kept on walking around during church service and this made her mom look concerned over her, not until she came where I was standing, so I gave her a hug and took her in my arms and I gave her mom a sign that she was safe, because by then she (mom) wanted to come for her, but instead she stayed were she was sited and enjoyed the rest of the service to the end of it, and I had a nice time with this little angel. 
After the service, her mom came to get her daughter, from my arms, I gave her daughter, in her arms too. She thanked me and then we had a personal talk, and chilled, then we said our goodbye’s to each other, and wished each other a good day, and the rest of the week.

A thought came to my mind from all that had happened and from what we talked about with the little angels mom. I asked myself, “what if church is the only place this mother has a chance to sit down and have some spiritual input?”, “what if it’s another tough situation when she goes back home, where she has to raise the kid on her own?” It should be tough at home I suppose, to raise her on her own. I sensed that this mother needs help every Sunday and someone needs to be there for her on these Sundays when she comes to attend service.
I would like to agree with Tony Phelps Jones who said something in one of his books “Making Church Accessible to all”, he said; 

“Raising a child will always come with mix of joy and challenges. In response to that, the work done with families in our churches appears to be on the increase, and the need to work with families who have a child with additional needs is becoming a greater probability.”

When families raising a kid(s) with additional needs, who attend our churches, the things that they need are; welcome, acceptance, good communication and accessibility to feel that they belong to a community. The issues of having a child with additional needs are not present only on a Sunday. These families will have to go home and cope with multiple challenges for the rest of week. There is more that a church can and should do said Tony Phelps. 

Wow! There is so much truth in these two points made by Tony Phelps. If we are to achieve an inclusive Church and Society, we, as a Church, Society, and individuals need to start thinking inclusively but most importantly, we as individuals need to be thinking inclusive for we make the Church and Society. There is more we can do and should do to make our Church and Society inclusive and accessible to all.