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Kick Stigma out Campaign
Miatta is a 9 year old girl with autism;
•due to no diagnostic services her mum did not know what the issue was (ie. What condition Miatta had)
•Some traditional healers told mum that Miatta was a witch and some said Miatta is a 'debul pikin' (devil's child)
•Miatta's mum was told to buy some items and that a ceremony will be performed to 'return' her daughter back to the 'debul'
•Mum said Miatta was on the verge of been 'returned' when she got in contact with Sierra Leone Autistic Society (SLAS) via SLAS' community sensitisation team.
•Today Miatta is in SLAS’s supported school (Browne-Penn Special School) and doing very well; and mum is a strong member of the parent support group.
Fatmata is the mother of an eleven year old son with autism;
•Fatmata had been evicted many times from her rented properties due to neighbours pressuring landlords to evict her and her son Bundu.
•Bundu has severe autism and the nature of how it manifests causes him to scream loudly, and when this happens in the middle of the night (as Bundu struggled with sleep), neighbours assumed he was either a witch or possessed by the devil.
•Fatmata was suffering with depression and told Sierra Leone Autistic Society (SLAS) sensitisation team she was thinking of "ending it all'; Bundu is now in school and mum received advice through support group which has helped with his sleep issues, etc.
•Sensitisation was carried out within Fatmata's community and for the first time in a long while Fatmata and Bundu have a supportive community to live in.
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