Friday, 18 May 2018

#AboutLastNight on My Weekly Special Needs Awareness Radio Show...

Last Night was specially very educative on our weekly radio show at the Kiss 99.9 FM Abuja. Our topic was “THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY INTERVENTION IN MANAGING INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS” and it was my utmost pleasure to have with us in the studio, Air Vice Marshall Femi Gbadebo (rtd); the founder and CEO of Benola- A Cerebral Palsy Initiative, as a guest speaker, who spoke extensively on this topic.

We began our chat with explaining the meaning of “early intervention”, I explained simply that early intervention means “being proactive as opposed to being reactive”. You address something before it happens. In analyzing the situation of child birth, I added (like I always say) “having a special needs child is not the end of the world” and something can be done. There are different stages of special needs condition which ranges from mild, moderate and severe. If parents are proactive and address children with these conditions promptly, the child has a higher chance of moving from, say, a severe case to a moderate case or from a moderate case to a mild case.

Air Vice Marshal Gbadebo gave us more insight on this topic. He stated that he has a 22 year old son living with Cerebral Palsy and has been faring well. Very importantly he said that we must understand that “every individual can learn” irrespective of their pace and “every condition can be managed to a certain level of independent living” but to do that we must start early. The brain of a newborn is like a sponge and absorbs information easily and fast, which brings about development. The time period for maximum development of the brain is about 5 years for a “typical” child but a child with special needs may have just 2 years. Therefore, if we waste time when that child is young, we would have wasted valuable time that the child could have received early intervention to address the condition and bring him closer and faster to living and managing an independent life. Many Nigerian parents have spent the early years of their children with such conditions seeking for “spiritual healing” instead of addressing it as a neurological condition that it is.

More so, he added that the poor facility in our Nigerian hospitals also is very detrimental to early intervention. Unlike developed countries, where the necessary facilities, professionals and social workers are available for parents who have children with such conditions after birth, the Nigerian system only offers very poor and limited services in our hospitals, hence the support system parents need is not available. You will therefore notice that the first problem with early intervention is parents not knowing or accepting that their child has a problem. 

When a newborn is developing, it is important to note that the child attains the milestones a “normal child” should attain at their different stages, and when children do not attain these milestones like talking, moving etc. when they should, it should be a sign that there is a problem. Socially speaking, many Nigerian parent do not want to be stigmatized as parents with children that have special needs and may even have negative and rash reactions if mentioned to them, and “you cannot help someone who says she doesn’t have a problem”. Instead of seeking for “miracles” first, “the first miracle is knowing that you have a problem” and help is needed, then one can now seek the help needed.

Air Vice Marshal Femi also shared some experiences handling his child with Cerebral Palsy. He explained that Cerebral Palsy could be as a result of a child being denied oxygen most likely because of delay during child birth. Although it may be challenging, as sometimes parents are tempted to keep these children indoor for fear of stigmatization, which in turn further affects their social skills, if they are given the help they need, they could fare well. In sharing his experience, he stressed the importance of helping the parents who have kids with these conditions. Many times, parents are abandoned to handle these kids themselves which could be very challenging. What parents with children with special needs require is understanding and help from family and friends in managing their kids.
Every child that is not “normal” needs an intervention. It is very vital that parents accept that their children need this help. And society should be educated to empathize rather than stigmatize parents that have kids with special needs. Also, we need to train healthcare practitioners on handling these cases as we have a large gap to fill in the health sector when it comes to services for early intervention for children with special needs.
Air Vice Marshal Femi concluded by stressing the need to improve the services available in the country for intervention. He stressed the need for every hospital to employ professionals and counselors whose job would be to guide parents that give birth to children with these special needs.
We ended the show after answering a couple of questions from listeners who called in.
Join us again next week, same time, same station

Please consider sponsoring this programme to keep us on air. Kindly call: 07057630825 or send us an email at:

Friday, 11 May 2018

#AboutLastNight on My Weekly Special Needs Awareness Radio Show...

Last night on the Dewdrops Community Centre's Weekly Special Needs Awareness Radio Show on Kiss FM Abuja, we discussed 'Exploring the Creative and Innovative Aspects of the Special Needs Child'. It was quite an interesting episode as it drew practical experience from the 'Young Engineering and Photography Etiquette Program' by Young Engineers Club, Kub Konekt Abuja. With us in the studio was Ms. Blessing Ingyape, a special education teacher at the Dewdrops Community Centre and Mrs. Emuobo Ochojila of Kub Konekt.
I began by stating the need to bring out the best in the special needs child and that children with special needs in society are not to be looked down upon or pitied but can exhibit great potentials in an enabling environment.
I further explained that many special needs children do not have the proper environment to explore their creative abilities and many of them have achieved much more in developed countries where they have a better environment that enables them explore their creativity and develop abilities. I mentioned that sometimes, people with these special needs may perform better than "regular people" as they see their activities as challenges they have to overcome and strive hard to overcome them.
Mrs. Ochojila explained that creativity in children involves using their imagination to come up with new ideas which encourages critical thinking. She stated that when the creativity of a child is not encouraged, their progress becomes hindered and they are unable to find solutions to simple problems. She also further talked about the activities carried out by the Young Engineers Club, Kub Konekt, where the kids are taught to replicate models using available resources (pieces). They also learn to pull models apart after building which helps in developing their fine motor skills and is very vital in building their creativity.
Ms. Blessing added that children with special needs are sometimes more creative than "neurotypical" kids. She also noted the importance of working with special needs children based on their cognitive abilities rather than their age. She described cognition as the mental process of being able to think, experience, feel and learn things independently.
On our chat about how photography helps spark creativity in kids with special needs, we talked about how photography helps to increase concentration and focus where kids try to capture things they like and explore. Mrs Ochojila added that photography sparks their creativity by helping them appreciate what they see and in the process helps build their fine motor skills.
We concluded by explaining how the Young Engineers Photography and Etiquette Programme plays a vital role in helping kids socialize better by building team work and conflict management while working on their activities.
We ended the show by answering some questions from listeners who called in on the show.
Join us again next week,same time, same station.
Please consider sponsoring this programme to keep us on air. Kindly call: 07057630825 or send us an email at:
To read the reports of previous episodes, visit my blog:

Friday, 4 May 2018

About Last Night on My Weekly Special Needs Awareness Radio Show...

We discussed the topic:  'Special Needs and Recreation' @ Kiss 99.9 Fm last night on the weekly special needs awareness radio show by the Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs, Abuja.

I began by explaining that special needs means additional needs. A special needs person is a person who needs additional help to function properly. I also explained that recreation (leisure) is important because it helps in the mental development process of children.

Mr. Abiola Ajebola, Head of Special Education Needs at Thoughtful House Foundation, Abuja was a guest on the show. He said that a special needs child has to have a good leisure time and this fact cannot be over emphasised. Another guest on the show, Mr. Agbo Noah, a therapist with the Woodentods International School, Abuja, explained that mixing up with typical children as part of recreation was very important in support of their developmental process. 

Mrs. Aisha John Mark, a parent of a child with special needs was also a guest on the show. She added that although it is tasking to care for a child with special needs, the joy derived often overshadows the stress. Mrs. Doris Akano, another parent of a child with special needs was also a guest on the show. She said recreation has played a very important role in her child's development. She noted how excited she was to see her son participate in face painting activity at the Family Funfair, which he would ordinarily not have participated in, but he was attracted by the participation of other kids including his younger brother. His involvement in the Young Engineer Lego construction (which was one of the side attractions at the Funfair) was another eye-opener for her as his mother in identifying his strength in using Lego blocks to build different objects as a form of recreation. 

We ended the show by answering a couple of questions from listeners who called in on the show. We also used the opportunity to present a token award to the Honourable House of Parapo crew for their consistent support to special needs community!

Join us again next week Thursday, same time and same station.

Please consider sponsoring this program to keep us on air. Kindly call: 0705 763 0825 or send email to:


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A pleasant surprise from Benola Cerebral Palsy Initiative

And so I woke to see this pleasant compliment from the Benola Boss, AVM Femi Gbadebo (RtD) on my Instagram page:

Regrann from @benola_cpi - WOMAN CRUSH WEDNESDAY: When @lolaanake, a US trained Autism Specialist and Founder of @cadetacademy & @dewdropscentre, is an interesting study in vision, focus and perseverance. This beautiful mother of two has over the course of 6years, become a formidable force in the race to change the Face of Autism in Nigeria. In fact, it's been so refreshing watching her work painstakingly with an unwavering attention to detail, nurture her Centre into, not just a force to be reckoned with in Abuja, but all over the country and because Team Benola remains grateful for her love and support in our quest to change the Face of disability management in Africa, we've selected her as our Woman Crush for the Week. So please join in praying for more of God's richest blessings upon @lolaanake's life as she continues doing that which she does best to the Glory of His Name! 🙏🏾👌🏾👍🏾🙌🏾🤗🌹🎉 #woman #crush#wednesday #mentor #woman #crush #wednesday#substance #rolemodel #mother #guidance #support#philanthropist #philanthropy #ngosupport#supporter #autism #autismawareness 
#specialneedskids #disability #disabilityawareness#disabilityadvocate #entrepreneur #startups#networking - #regrann