Stakeholders call for research centres on Communication Disorder

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu has urged the universities and stakeholders to come up with ideas on the establishment of a Research Centre of Communication Disorders, due to its critical need .

Prof. Abdallah says the centre when established will help address the ubiquitous instances of language disabilities and communication disorder.

The NOUN Vice Chancellor made the call in Abuja during a public lecture delivered in the university by Prof. Yul Ifode on the topic: “The Child Beyond the Breath of Life: Our Corporate Concern.”

Prof. Abdallah hinted that with about N90 million funds reserved for institutions based researches by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), the university should begin to develop ways of partnerships towards relevant researches on specific areas of learning.

Delivering the inaugural lecture, Prof Shirley Yul Ifode called for collaboration between organisations working on issues affecting persons with disabilities and stakeholders, she said the relationship should move beyond World Disability Day, World Autism Day and Children’s Day .

Prof Yul said there is an absence of attention in the area of children’s communication pattern and disorder in Nigeria, which according to him makes the inculcation of societal values and traditions in the children difficult .

She stressed that the consequences of a communication disordered person transcends the communication activity.

“Because of the relationship between the developing child and his language, the medium of communication, which is an index of normal/healthy development, maladjustment, as well as some developmental disorders,” Prof Yul said.

According to Prof Yul, “any family that goes beyond the breath of life and pays attention to the language development of a child will be able to identify deviations not only in the communication patterns, when they arise, but also in other areas of the development of the child for early intervention.”

The Prof. of Linguistics in Child Language and Communication Disorder urged Authorities and community leaders to prioritise the need to develop child language and continue to pay deserving attention to language disabilities and general communication disorder for a proper child upbringing.

She admonished parents to provide help and support to a child identified with such disorders to minimise the effect of the attendant limitation placed on people with communication disorder.

The Child linguistics expert advised that interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary forum should be organised to brainstorm on the way forward for the special children in Nigeria.