Friday, 30 October 2015

The Day Mrs Dotun Akande of Patrick Speech and Language Centre, Lagos - Visited the C.A.D.E.T. Academy



On the 30th of October 2015, The Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training (C.A.D.E.T.) Academy Abuja was visited by Mrs Dotun Akande, Founder and Proprietress of the Patrick Speech and Language Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. The Patrick Speech and Language Centre is a unique centre for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger Syndrome and other related developmental disabilities. For over 10 years, the Centre has been at the forefront of increasing awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders in Nigeria. 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.

* About 1 in 68 children has been identified with ASD according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

* ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

* ASD is almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).

* ASD is a lifelong disability and there is no known cure.

* Early diagnosis and intervention could help a great deal in managing ASD.

*(Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The visit offered an opportunity for cross fertilization of ideas in the areas of special education needs and awareness efforts between the two organizations. We would like to thank Mrs Dotun Akande for honouring us with her visit, her words of encouragement and also for her kind donation in support of the children on our program. We celebrate you ma!

Here are some pictures from the visit:






Tuesday, 5 May 2015

When Dew Drops...

Here's the documentary film that everyone is talking about now - "When Dew Drops." It's a documentary film about Autism and related Special Education Needs awareness and support in Nigeria. 


Monday, 27 April 2015

C.A.D.E.T. Academy 2015 Autism Awareness Dinner/Seminar/Fundraiser

The Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training (C.A.D.E.T.) Academy in conjunction with the non-profit Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs Abuja, organized an Autism Awareness Dinner/Seminar on 25th April 2015, at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, Nigeria. The event marked the climax of the various activities which the C.A.D.E.T. Academy conducted to mark the month of April as the International Month of Autism Awareness. The dinner served as a platform to create awareness about Autism, educate, inspire and encourage families, teachers and caregivers who are dealing with young students living with Autism, and also to raise funds to achieve the following aspirations under our registered non-profit arm (The Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs and Vulnerable Women): 

a.         Production of a 15-minute weekly radio and television program on special needs awareness.

b.         Scholarship/sponsorship of special needs students, and special education capacity building for teachers.

c.         Procurement and installation of special education needs resources, assessment materials and teaching aids.

d.         Building of a proposed Community Centre for Special Needs and Vulnerable Women in Abuja.

The event was well attended by many parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, some regular school teachers (who were also honoured with gift items), prominent school owners, caregivers, and very important personalities in the Federal Government of Nigeria, such as the Honourable Minister of Power -Professor Chinedu Nebo in company of his wife. The dinner was preceded by a red carpet session followed by poetry and musical sessions to  entertain the guests. The duo of Mrs Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi and Mr. Koffi Idowu ensured that there was not a single dull moment throughout the occasion.

The event gave me the opportunity, as the special education Program Director of the C.A.D.E.T. Academy and founder of the Dewdrops Community Centre, to educate and enlighten the participants on some facts and misconceptions about Autism, the present issues and challenges to understanding Autism in Nigeria. We also discussed some of the signs and how to conduct comprehensive tests on individuals who are suspected to be living with Autism. We further considered certain research-based and evidence-based practices we could possibly adopt from the United States of America and other more advanced countries.

The event culminated with a fundraising session aimed at achieving the earlier stated aspirations and to provide world class special education at little or no cost to a large pool of low income earning families in Abuja and its environs. To support the non-profit Dew Drops Community Centre initiative, please send us email to: admin@cacademy.sch.ng

If you missed this event, don't worry, more of our events and activities are scheduled for the months ahead. You may visit our Facebook page HERE:  to view the official photos. Some photo highlights are below, after the cut.













Sunday, 19 April 2015

C.A.D.E.T. Academy 2015 Autism Awareness Event in Abuja

The Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training (C.A.D.E.T.) Academy in conjunction with the non-profit Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs Abuja, organized a free Autism Awareness Aerobics Dance session and Bikers Ride/Road Show on 18th April 2015, at the Millennium Park in Abuja, Nigeria. The title of the show was: "Ride and Dance for Autism." The event was one of the activities which the two organizations conducted to mark the month of April as the International Month of Autism Awareness. The aim of this particular program was to create awareness about Autism, educate, inspire and encourage families, teachers and caregivers who are dealing with young students living with Autism.

During the event, participants had a great time with the aerobics dance sessions which reached its climax with a free rides and photo shoots session with the prestigious Abuja 09 Bikers MC. The Bikers also did some stunt displays before leading the entire participants on a 3 Kilometre road walk around the Unity Fountain square, right in front of the Abuja Transcorp Hilton Hotel.

The event gave me the opportunity, as the special education Program Director of the C.A.D.E.T. Academy and founder of the Dewdrops Community Centre, to educate and enlighten the participants on some facts and misconceptions about Autism, the present issues and challenges to understanding Autism in Nigeria. We also discussed some of the signs and how to conduct comprehensive tests on individuals who are suspected to be living with Autism. We further considered certain research-based and evidence-based practices we could possibly adopt from the United States of America and other more advanced countries.

The event which was largely attended by people from within and outside Abuja was offered free of charge to the public. The participants were full of appreciation and some even used the opportunity to share inspirational stories about their personal experiences with persons living with Autism and related special needs.


If you missed this event, don't worry, more of our events and activities are scheduled for the months ahead - some will be free and some will be at a fee. You may visit our Facebook page HERE:  to view photos. Some photo highlights are below, after the cut.













Friday, 17 April 2015

#AutismAwareness on TV

Hey friends, here's the video from African Independent Television's Kakaaki for those who missed the live broadcast yesterday>>>WATCH HERE<<<



Monday, 13 April 2015

The Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs and Vulnerable Women®

The Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs and Vulnerable Women® is a registered non-profit centre that will cater for a large population of low income earning families through donations by individuals and corporate bodies. The centre is projected to be a state-of-the-art Special Education Needs intervention centre. 

At this centre, our trained and certified specialists together with other professionals, using a multidisciplinary approach, would conduct among other procedures, early intervention programs for pre-school and school aged children with Autism and related developmental disabilities, as an important element of current Special Education international best practices recommended by international bodies which we are a member of, such as the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES), the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD), the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD),The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF). 

Through the Dewdrops Community Center, The C.A.D.E.T. Academy®, will be bringing hope to an otherwise under-served group of the Nigerian society in terms of education, thus supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria's goal of transformation in the education sector. 

Wanna be a part of this vision? Email us: admin@cacademy.sch.ng

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April is International Autism Awareness Month>>>What's all the fuss about Autism?



The birth of a child has a life changing effect on a family, and when a child is born with a disability, the effect is even more pronounced. Most parents whose child is diagnosed with autism normally have a hard time coming to terms with this reality. This is quite understandable in view of the fact that the understanding of autism is still not very widespread, and the condition currently has no known cure. Some parents might even grapple with the feeling that they are in some way responsible for their child's condition. But the truth is that there is absolutely no basis for parents to harbor any guilt feelings or fears about their child being diagnosed with autism. 

If however, you observe traits in your child that you don't understand or gets you worried, and if you can associate some of these traits with autism, you need to discuss your concerns with your doctor immediately. If your child has already been diagnosed with autism, you need to take action as soon as possible. It is advisable for parents having a child with autism to get information about treatment options. They also need to work with a doctor to formulate a treatment plan that meets their child’s needs.

Contemporary research and emerging technologies has helped children with autism to live better lives. In addition, through effective treatment plans, support of family members and caregivers, children with autism could live healthier, behave more appropriately and even get included into general education settings.

A child living with autism can make good progress and live a fulfilled adult life. But the parents need to empower themselves with the right knowledge. They don't have to wait for professionals to give them all the answers - parents equally have an important role to play in their child's development.

What is Autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is associated with a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain.

Here are some quick facts about Autism:

  • It is a developmental disability, and is neurological (i.e. brain-based).
  • It is more of biological than psychological.
  • Autism is the most common among some disorders on a spectrum known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs).
  • Autism is usually diagnosed by the time a child is 3 years old.
  • Autism could affect any person no matter where they are from, or their socioeconomic status.
  • Autism affects as many as 1.5 million people in the United States alone, with about 24,000 children being diagnosed every year.
  • Autism is diagnosed four times as often in boys than in girls.
  • Children who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder need early intervention as soon as possible.
If you’re in Nigeria, and you're concerned that your child might have an ASD or other developmental problem, what should you do?" ...Visit our website to get informed>>>www.cacademy.sch.ng

You may also join us for a FREE Aerobics Dance Session in support of #AutismAwareness at the Millenium Park, Abuja, on Saturday, 18th April 2015.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Some Early Signs of Autism...

Next month, April is International Autism Awareness Month...Please feel free to share with us any other early signs of autism you know to help us raise awareness>>>

Monday, 23 February 2015

Social Skills 101...

What exactly are social skills and how are they affecting your child?

Social skills are more than eye contact and body language.  They are actually at the core of successful problem solving. Some things that are considered social skills are:  accepting differences, asking for help, communication, following directions and attentive listening, just to name a few.  As you think about these you will see a common denominator, your child has to successfully think through these skills to obtain a positive outcome.  Your child needs to be able to identify a social situation, figure out what they need to do to obtain the desired outcome, and most importantly they need to follow through.  If they have any type of social skills deficit it will affect their entire life from friendships and family to school and academics.

At the base of building social skills is self-esteem.  Self-esteem is critical for your child to be able to begin to problem solve.  They need to have enough faith in themselves to know they can find a solution.

To help your child build their self-esteem, talk to them about what makes them unique.  Everyone has talents or hobbies that make them stand out from the rest of their peers.  Maybe your child is great at sports or is good in school.  Maybe they are a good listener or great with animals.  Maybe they are knowledgeable about a particular topic or have an awesome collection.  Everyone is good at something.  Help your child figure out what makes them unique.  Point it out to them and compliment them on it whenever you can.  This will help your child feel better about themselves and give them the self-confidence to work on other skills they may be struggling with.  Pointing out what makes your child unique will not only help them with their daily social situations it will also make them smile!

Making friends is another core social skill.  It can be difficult for children on the autism spectrum to relate to their peers.  “The best way to make friends is to show sincere interest in other people.  People love to have other people notice them and want to know more about them.  Someone could find out things about another person by asking questions, noticing what they are doing or wearing, paying attention to skills or talents of others, and making eye contact.” Talk to others about their interests as well as your own.  You may be surprised how easy it actually is to make a new friend!


This post was contributed by: 

Lisa Timms, MS Special Education
Founder/Director The Timms Social Skills Program


Lisa Timms has a Master of Science Degree from the University of Scranton.  She is the author of “60 Social Situations and Discussion Starters” published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  You can find her book online at http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781849058629.  She is also the creator of The Timms Social Skills Program, an online social skills program which is offered internationally for students ages 6-18 with ADHD/ADD, Aspergers, Autism or atypical students who may be struggling with their problem solving and/or social skills.