Graduate sets up autism school in Uganda

Fredrick Sambatya, MA Autism

Fredrick Sembatya, who graduated from the MA in Autism in September 2015, devotes his time to raising awareness of autism in the East African country, where very little is known about the spectrum disorder.

He is currently working as an Autism Specialist at GEMS Cambridge International School in Kampala and teaches parents the skills and interventions they can use with their children by organising workshops and providing them with helpful resources, as well as writing articles in the local press and regularly appearing on TV shows to talk about autism.

Fredrick is also in the final stages of setting up a therapeutic centre for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

The centre will open in September 2015 for students to start receiving services such as SNE, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and vocational skills training. 

"I will start small to cater for around 20 students. After getting enough resources - including skilled personnel and bigger space - I will see if it will be possible to increase on the number of students to receive services."

Thanks to his studies at the University of South Wales, Fredrick was able to learn about some of the evidence-based interventions that can be used to help children and young people with autism.

He said: "Autism is one of the most challenging conditions in the world, with no known cause or cure," he said.

"These challenges leave communities such as those in Uganda with very few people knowing about autism, who are left with no choice but to rely on traditional or non-evidence based approaches to define, diagnose and manage it.

“I am so grateful to the University for shaping my career and my future. My studies have enabled me to change the lives of people with autism as well as their families.”