Parenting and albinism (for parents/guardians and friends)
Albinism affects people from all races in the world. The parents of most Children with Albinism (CWA) have normal hair and eye colour from their ethnic background and in some cases may not have a family history of Albinism. Albinism does not usually affect the lifespan of a child and live out their life like any other child. The growth and development of a CWA is normal and all developmental milestones should be achieved at the expected age.
The general health of a CWA is normal and the reduction in melanin in the skin, hair and eyes does not have an effect on the brain, cardiovascular systems of the lungs, the gastral intestinal tract, the urinary-genital systems of the lungs, the musculoskeletal system and the immune system among others.
It is therefore that parents of CWA understand these facts to shield their children from the effects of the ignorance about Albinism among families and communities which results into stigmatization and discrimination of PWA and has an adverse effect on a CWA growing up. Parents must understand and love their children first to be front liners in protecting and advocating for the rights and needs of a CWA in the family and by large the community. What parents of CWA do?
- Offer love, support and understanding by siblings and other family members
- Help the child develop self-acceptance and self-love that will build their self-esteem and confidence and be assertive in life
- Protect CWA from bullying and teasing from both adults and peers
- Adopt early intervention measures in skin and eye care for their children consistently
- Always ensure they do not play under the hot sun without protective clothing (hats, long sleeved)
- Teach them the need to care for their skin and eyes as they grow up
- Take CWA to school and are encouraged to enroll them in mainstream schools as opposed to special needs schools to enhance the development of more social skills and their interaction with other learners. More often parents do not invest in the education of CWA as they consider it a waste of resources an idea that should be condemned in the highest terms possible. A CWA has full rights to education and all other social and economic rights to live a productive life.
Learn more about albinism and education.