Our Lady of Guadalupe Health Foundation/Autism Center was founded in June 2006 by Engr Chidi Izuwah and Dr (Mrs.) Doris Izuwah and currently the 1st foundation that offers biomedical intervention for children in the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Nigeria with a Defeat Autism Now (DAN) trained doctor using the world recognized DAN protocol.
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OLG is located inside LEA Primary school opposite Oando filling station, Alex Ekwueme Way, Jabi, Abuja FCT in Nigeria. It was formed in Port Harcourt in 2006 but registered 25th of October, 2007 to provide help to children with special needs.
This was a result of impressive improvement seen in a family member of the Izuwah who had moderate-severe Autism with Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, sensory processing disorder and learning disability. This disorder spurred the family into acquiring massive and continual training in order to recover this child and help Nigerian children suffering from a similar ailment.
OLG Abuja began in June 2012 on the relocation of Dr Izuwah and family to Abuja while OLG Owerri started in 2015 in Owerri. OLG now has over 70 children it works with on a daily/weekly basis and over 50 staff.
Having more than 13 years of experience with well-trained staff who still continue training in special needs to improve the quality of life of special needs children, OLG Health Foundation offers various multidisciplinary interventions for Children with Autism and other children with special needs like Down syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Cerebral Palsy. It operates as a centre that offers education to special needs children and succour to their parents.
OLG: The Mission and Vision Statement
It is clear what the OLG has set out to do. Their mission statement is outlined as follows:
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- To provide wholesome integrated intervention services that are exceptional with empathy to Special needs children especially those with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as Autism.
- To ensure that Special needs children (SNC) are not left behind by harnessing their potentials geared towards achieving their full potential.
- Improve and optimize the quality of life for Individuals with NDD via education, biomedical interventions, fostering independence, proper transitioning, multidisciplinary approach and awareness with training and advocacy in the community.
- Ensure early intervention services with increased chances at independent living with community contribution when they are older.
In addition to that, OLG has a Ten Part Vision Statement. These are as follows:
- Education– ensure that Special needs children (SNC) have access to quality education despite their disability.
- Biomedical Intervention– Medical needs of SNC should be appropriately managed with quality health care services.
- Training for Parents/Schools and Medical Personnel to ensure a continuum of care at home, health care facilities and school. Empowerment of teachers to manage these children in regular school. Capacity building as a therapist for SNC.
- Instil Self Reliance and Independence will eventually encourage SNC to reach their potentials for there is ability in disability.
- Wholesome Integration into the community and Nation as a whole.
- Awareness Campaigns to debunk the mysteries of Special needs /NDD and reduce morbidity due to cultural and religious harmful practices towards SNC due to ignorance. Foster early intervention services.
- Research to encourage prevention of practices that might predispose a child into having developmental disorders and discover evidence-based treatment procedures for them.
- Policies that will reduce morbidity and mortality of special needs children due to poor existing facilities. Ensure the rights of individuals that have neurodevelopmental disorders are respected.
- Part of the Millennium Development Goal that every child enrols in school and health programme.
- Community Integration and Collaboration for wholesome participation and attitude towards families living with special needs children and acceptance into the society. To encourage collaboration between OLG and other bodies, donors, funders towards improving the cause of indigent children that are indeed special.
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