Parents and families of children and people with special needs have been urged not to abandon them but continually show them love, care and support.
That will help make these persons feel inclusive and encouraged to also realise their potential despite their disability.
The Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Rev. Dr Comfort Asare, who gave the advice, said oftentimes, persons with special needs had suffered stigmatisation by both families and society, a situation that affected the self-worth of the victims and led to mental health.
Speaking at a get-together for caretakers of persons with disability, Rev. Dr Asare said the department on many occasions had been saddled with persons with disabilities who had been brought there by their families and mothers, and later abandoned.
”No person with a disability is worthless, they all could function according to their ability and so instead of stigmatising them and abandoning them, they should be supported and encouraged to realise their potential. It makes the burden and frustration of not being fully whole, lighter.
"Additionally, instead of putting families and parents under pressure through stigmatisation, society should rather encourage them and support them to raise and care for their children with special needs because they are also gifts from God and they did not choose that path," she said.
The get-together, organised by the Autism and Special Needs Foundation (AUSNEF), brought together some caretakers of children with special needs to dine, talk and encourage each other on the issues that bother them.
The foundation also distributed some relief items, provisions and cash to the parents and encouraged them to continue to give of their very best in catering for their children.
The Founder of the Foundation, Dorcas Akyeampong Boadi, said the initiative was to encourage parents and caretakers not to give up on their children but to continue to treat them with so much love and dedication.
“I have been in their situation before and I am still learning each day to be better, so I know exactly how it feels. So this get-together is simply to encourage them not to give up and to help them in every small way we can,” she said.
She also urged families and society to refrain from stigmatising children with special needs.
of the caretakers, Michael Asante, thanked the foundation for the initiative and encouraged other organisations to come to their aid.
“I will advise parents to continue with the good works and have faith in God to take care of them. You can't give birth and decide to throw your child away due to disabilities. I have turned into a woman already because I have been doing what a mother would do for her children; their upkeep and others. If you don't have the love and fear of God you won't be able to do the work,” he said.
Another caretaker, Joycelyn Bokor, also said: “Don't keep them indoors, let them join the kids but monitor them and do well to convince headmistresses and masters to take them in because they learn from the normal children. They are not abnormal but special children so with special care it will be well,” she said.