Hospice Week: 5-11 May 2024

Hospice Week: 5-11 May 2024

Hospice Week honours the compassionate care and support provided to individuals and families facing life-limiting illnesses. It’s a time to recognize the dedication of hospice workers, volunteers, and caregivers who offer comfort, dignity, and respect during one of life’s most challenging journeys. Let’s celebrate their invaluable contributions

Statement on the Arrest of Professor Dr Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian – (AMENA-Psy)

Statement on the Arrest of Professor Dr Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian – (AMENA-Psy)

The American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association (AMENA-Psy), alongside the Palestinian Feminist Collective and numerous academics, expresses deep dismay over the arrest and detention of esteemed feminist socio-legal scholar and children’s rights advocate, Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, on April 18, 2024. Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s apprehension from her residence stems from an ongoing suppression of free speech and an unjust suspension by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem over the past seven months.

EMERGENCY CALL FOR ACTION

EMERGENCY CALL FOR ACTION

EMERGENCY CALL FOR ACTION!!

 

Around 5 pm on Thursday, April 18, 2024, Hebrew University professor and internationally renowned feminist scholar Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian was arrested by Israeli police at her home in the Old City of Jerusalem on the charge of incitement to violence.

Take action today for Prof Nadera Shalhoub Kervokian’s immediate release!

Use the hashtag #FreeNadera and tag @HebrewU on all social media platforms.

PUBLIC LECTURES by The Institute For Social and Health Sciences, And Prof Zethu Nkosi, Executive Dean: College of Human Sciences, UNISA

PUBLIC LECTURES by The Institute For Social and Health Sciences, And Prof Zethu Nkosi, Executive Dean: College of Human Sciences, UNISA

PUBLIC LECTURES

by The Institute For Social and Health Sciences, And Prof Zethu Nkosi, Executive Dean: College of Human Sciences, UNISA

The Institute for Social and Health Sciences, and Prof Zethu Nkosi, Executive Dean: College of Human Sciences, Unisa, cordially invite you to public lectures by:

Ashla’a: Body Bags, Body Parts/Remnants and the Genocide in Gaza
by
Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian – Queen Mary University of London

AND

Resisting Settler Solidarities and the Colonial Cult of Death: Palestinian Grief and the Perseverance of Beauty
by
Prof Devin Atallah – University of Massachusetts Boston

Date: 13 May 2024, 14:00-17:00 (SAST)
Location: Constitution Hill
 
RSVP by 24 April 2024 to morkejm@unisa.ac.za.
 
Livestreaming information to follow.

Attached invitation for further information.

World Autism Awareness Day 2024

World Autism Awareness Day 2024

AUTISM – Do we really understand Autism? – The importance of listening to the Stories.

 by Dr Petro Erasmus

Dr Petro Erasmus

PsySSA Additional Member: Society for Educational Psychology of South Africa (SEPSA)

We have come a long way in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders. In 1911 the term “autism” was coined to describe what Paul Eugen Bleuler claimed to be the childhood version of schizophrenia. In the 1980’s Autism was recognized as a spectrum condition with wide-ranging degrees of impairment. According to Edelson (2019) there are still a high percentage of children who may not yet receive life-changing intervention as easily as possible since screening for autism is not readily available to everyone. In South Africa the ADOS is widely accepted as a reliable tool to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). According to research one out of 36 children may be affected by Autism.

What research is also showing is that girls and children in low-income families are often overlooked. Boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD. Another challenge is that there is a growing number of young adults who suspect they might be neurodiverse but who are not always referred to the appropriate professionals to make such a diagnosis. They suspect a diagnosis of ASD but also receive a co-morbid diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This highlights the need for ongoing research to fully understand the impact of neurodiversity across developmental phases but also from a systemic approach. Research done at the North West University focused on how Autism is understood from a Tswana cultural perspective. Findings from these research projects are important for professionals who work with neuro-diverse children to understand not only the child but also the system that they function within.

Just as important as a diagnosis is to access resources, it is also important to plan for what resources must be made available for specific communities. There is a scarcity of healthcare professionals with an interest in neurodiversity and expertise to make diagnoses which in turn informs interventions to assist individual to reach their full potential.

South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world and this is also evident in the resources available to make the diagnosis and more importantly to start with therapeutic interventions.  Evidence-based practices emphasize the importance of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals which ideally should include a pediatrician, psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, remedial therapist, teacher, nurse, and social worker – who work closely with the family to support and educate them and the child.

Neurodiversity should be on the agenda of every political party as one of their focus areas. To inform policy makers more research is needed to understand the needs of the individual but also the system within their function. We need to listen and record their stories to understand their journeys. So many professionals had the privilege to walk the journey with a neuro-diverse child and their family. They have learnt important lessons – but sadly these lessons are not recorded. At SEPSA and PSYSSA the aim is to advance SA psychology as a science and profession that promotes psychological praxis as relevant, proactive, and responsive to societal needs and well-being. SEPSA, a division of PSYSSA promotes research activities and in this special Autism month, we hope that more researchers will be motivated and begin to tell the stories of our neurodiverse children and their families.