Archive for April 24, 2008

Autism and Special Needs in Africa – Little Assisi School

By Adam Hardin

Little Girl at Assisi School

On a dusty mid-July day, three plumbers who have placed a water valve in the wrong location are dealing with one very determined nun. Sister Helen Scully is the director of the Little Assisi, a school for children with special needs, in N’gombe compound in Lusaka Zambia.

Today, for the first time, Assisi has running water, but the plumbers have mistaken placed the valve directly in the front yard where the children play. They are reluctant to move it, and for that they are being sternly re-directed.

The Assisi school serves 26 children who exhibit characteristics of mental retardation, autism, and various other disorders that impede their learning in more traditional educational settings. Sister Helen and her staff spend their days feeding and educating these children who would otherwise have no place else to go. Read more