Recently in Lagos a book; “The Determined Father: Lessons from My Journey with My Autistic Son”, was launched and in the ceremony who is who in the various sectors of the economy, politicians and captain of industries was present to support one of their own Engr. Charles Akindayomi, Chairman, CA Consultants Limited to launch his book entitled “The Determined Father: Lessons from My Journey with My Autistic Son”, a book written to tell the world what it takes to be a true father. Fatherhood takes so many challenges most especially when one is faced with autistic child or a child with any other form of disability challenges at early stage of life journey.
The chairman of the occasion His Excellency Otunba Engr. Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng in his opening remarks said “governments at all levels to improve Medicare and embrace inclusive education for children with down syndrome or other form of developmental disability.”
He further urged the government to continue to look at how it could improve the nation’s Medicare to curb medical tourism abroad.
From what the book represented, Daniel said, “What we have learnt today is the love of parents for their children. The second thing is that no child doesn’t have inherent talent and that disability, in fact, is an asset. Their autistic child has developed nicely to be very brilliant.
Some of the guests at the event share this advice as given by policy makers, medical doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, and sports administrators during the book launch in Lagos.
The book, authored by the Founder/CEO CA Consultants, Engr. Charles Akindayomi, chronicled his journey of discovery, challenges and sacrifices in terms of time and money for the love of his autistic son, Akinyele.
Speaking at the forum, the author and former President, Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria, tasked the government on the need to raise the standards of Medicare locally for children with down syndrome, adding that the authority should also take interest in their education.
Members of the panel of discussions on a child with down syndrome, a Board Member, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Misan Eresanara, Autism Father and Consultant Neurologist at Royal Cross Medical Centre, Lagos, Dr. Seyi Roberts, Autism Mom and Founder of George Kerry Life Foundation, Dr. Matilda Kerry and Consultant Neuro-Developmental Pediatrician, Professor Afolabi Lesi, narrated their experiences and challenged the government on the need to improve Medicare in the country.
Chairman of Channel Television, Mr. John Momoh, who doubles as the chief launcher, commended the author for the insight and the courage to come out to share with his family challenges to the general public, that most people will rather keep such problems to themselves which is not the best.
Mr. Momoh further pointed out that it was not only the parent of Akinyele that was determined, noting that the boy was determined too. “Akinyele has spent most of his life battling against prejudices and a condition that is often disadvantageous in our society”.
During the brief chat with the media, the Author of the book narrating his journey with his autistic son, Akindayomi stated that he and the wife, Yinka did not know until three years after the birth of the boy.
He said, “Then we find out that something is wrong and that he is not developing like any other child. We know we have to go to the medical doctors and check. Autism itself or developmental disability is not something that doctors get easily. You have to go through different tests, so we did that here and they could not diagnose what the exact problem was.
“We have to take the child to the United Kingdom (UK) because they have a very fantastic series of diagnosis centre’s. We got him tested and from there we found out that it was autism. Autism has no cure but what they were saying was that we just have to find a way of managing him. That is why you find those children that have mental disabilities or challenges, they require special needs.”