When I read the book to its last paragraph,a scenario came to my mind and since Facebook is my journal entry, I had to dig, I have always believed in equity and therefore not a single soul should be descriminated because they are differently abled.
I have always despised people who discriminate differently abled adults.They face alot of challenges in Society. Never for a moment had I thought of the differently abled children or the nutrition aspects thereto and how it is important in child development. I didn’t know that mealtime is important for bonding and child development . No one wakes up one day and plans for a differently abled child, but life is life and they come. What is the way forward when they come, how best can we take care of them more importantly,feed them? Society tells you to have children, but does the same society tell you to accept and love differently abled children? All these questions are addressed by Lutgard Musiime in her book, “Differently abled Nutrition”. The author,a dietician and Nutritionist prepares our minds that this is possible and can be achieved.
The author uses personal experiences while growing up to explain why she majored in nutrition and dietetics especially among the differently abled children and I dare say that this was a calling. It takes courage and motivation to identify a gap and get the means to address it . Most people would work draw a salary and benefits and that is it. In this guide however,the author helps alot especially the caregivers of the little differently abled children in understanding them. The author defines empathy because few people get absorbed in their jobs so as to get moved to go out there and address the challenge at hand. She emphasizes love and understanding of feeding the differently abled children as it helps to raise them into wonderful adults.
The author herein is talking about nutrition in children who are differently abled, this can be as a result of illnesses and conditions such as celebral palsy, cleft lip and palate, autism, Down syndrome and epilepsy. Disability maybe permanent, temporary or fluctuating. Disability comes with the different challenges ; Simple things like suckling,holding a cup, swallowing food are a luxury for these little ones. Simple language is used to help the reader understand the challenges that come with feeding a differently abled child.Sauti Sol in their song, Nerea, have a line Mungu akileta mtoto analeta saa ni yake. This literally means that children are brought forth by God. The author introduces us to the window of opportunity which are the first 1000 days .
Research in the fields of neuroscience, biology and early childhood development provide powerful insights into how nutrition, relationships, and environments in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s 2nd birthday shape future outcomes.Nutrition, in particular, plays a foundational role in a child’s development and her country’s ability to prosper. Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days can cause irreversible damage to a child’s growing brain. Differently abled children are special needs children by their condition.
The author outlines a comprehensive guide for their feeding and goes ahead to guide on the different positioning of the child to achieve the intended results. The author outlines a comprehensive balanced diet and the good of it is that the foods are locally available on the local market. The author lutgardises the guide by introducing a 20 day feeding Challenge with the aim of strengthening the bond with the child.
The book is luminous because it opens our eyes to the things we often take for granted maybe because we’re perfect bodied. This is a handbook that the government and institutions should have in light of operationalization of the different conventions relating to Children with disabilities. Let’s do this,in our society, you probably know a home/institutionalized home for the differently abled children. You can change their lives by getting them a copy of this wonderful guide. The author can be contacted on Twitter to pre order a copy.