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Raising an Autistic child: the story of Tebogo

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When he was two years old, Tebogo Mosarwe knew her son was different from other children his age. Unlike other children, he was hyper active and did not make an effort to utter words or show signs that he understood anything communicated to him. This worried the mother. She began looking for specialised treatment to understand her son’s condition. “As he grew up, the challenges became more elaborate,” the mother of three says. She could not maintain house helps as they left one after the other. Her social life also took a nosedive. She started to stay away from friends. Not because she wanted to, but because her son was hyper active. And most people would not be comfortable with that. “We took him to a kinder garden and there were always complaints. The teachers could not handle him,” she said. Due to the challenges and the added responsibilities, Mosarwe resigned from her job.

She opted for self-employment. In this way, she could have time to focus on her child. Her experience is that raising a child with autism is a constant challenge. “It is a full time job that one cannot delegate to someone else. As the child grows, the demands also increase.” There are times he is calm but many are the sleepless nights when he stays awake, cries and throws things around the house. “It is at this point that parental love comes handy,” she says with a warm smile. As difficult and frustrating as the experience of raising a special needs child can get sometimes, it has made Mosarwe realise how strong she is.

“I have learnt about my own strengths. I have learnt how deep love can be,” she admits. With support from her husband, they have now been able to take their son to a special school that takes care of children with special needs. The boy is now four years old. He presents himself like a normal child but still has his moments. “There has been amazing progress. He can feed himself now, undress and even go to the toilet by himself,” says the visibly proud Mosarwe. Slowly, she is redeeming her bubbly personality. She is a member of a support group of parents of children with autism. Here, they encourage and comfort each other. “Creating awareness and giving unconditional love to children with this disorder is the first step towards helping them,” she narrates with a captivating smile.

 

Ambrose Academy School in Mogoditshane trains children with special needs. It currently has 36 children between the ages of two and 11 years presenting different conditions from Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Down Syndrome to those with hearing impairment among others. School Head, Irina Ivanova, a sweet slow talking woman of Eastern Europe stock, has a word of counsel regarding children with special needs.

“They should not be hidden from the community. Instead, they need individualised education plans.” says the Ivanova.This plan, she says, is a strategy outlining objectives; how they will be executed; who is involved, for example, therapist, nutritionist, parents, siblings and so forth; so that they can work as a team to achieve desired results.

“Autism presents itself at different levels, this may be mild to extreme and this is where a doctor comes in to educate about the condition if the behaviour of the child gets out of control,” she adds. Although financially distressed, the school boasts four teachers including experts, such as clinicians, therapists and nutritionists, who come on a need to basis. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that one out of every 68 children worldwide is affected by Autism. Mosarwe emphasised the need to love children with autism because love conquers all.

 

 

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Matsheka sues Bandleng mokoko 250k for defamation

Keletso Thobega

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Lobatse Member of Parliament aspirant Thapelo Matsheka has slapped Tefo Seetso of Woodhall in Lobatse with a P250, 000 lawsuit.

A few weeks ago, a video of Seetso tearing down posters bearing the picture of Matsheka at the Woodhall shops in Lobatse trended on social media. In the video, Seetso can be heard cussing what he refers to as corrupt politicians. The lawsuit letter, which this publication is in possession of, reads in part:

“Apart from the undoubtedly slanderous statement you uttered of and concerning him, taken within prevailing political atmosphere of election campaigning, the added import of your utterances is that our client: is corrupt, lacks moral fibre and is not fit to be elected member of parliament or to hold any public office.” The letter further states that Matsheka’s instructions are that his name has been smeared and that it would be almost impossible to repair the damage occasioned to him having regard to the wide coverage of the video clip.

“By the sheer size of Facebook subscribers both locally and internationally, and the prevailing election period during which particular attention to political campaigns and candidates is heightened, it is not hard to fathom the effect your slanderous actions have had and will continue to have on our client’s dignity as an ordinary member of the public and also as an aspirant to political office.”
The letter also stipulates that Seetso remove and delete the video clip from all social media platforms. He is also asked to publish an unconditional apology and retraction of the said defamatory recording.

In an interview Seetso told The Midweek Sun that he was still looking for a lawyer. He said he had torn down the posters and recorded the video “to get attention.” He said it was his freedom of expression. He also argued that he had not mentioned Matsheka’s name, who he said wanted to use him as a scapegoat, should he lose elections.

“The way things are, should he lose, he would claim that I contributed to his loss through defaming him as he claims. If at all he has a good name, then it would not be easily tarnished. He should just focus on his campaign,” he said.

He said he was still thinking about whether he would apologise or not. He also queried how Matsheka and his lawyers had reached the amount demanded. Seetso, who was once aligned with the BDP but was never a registered member, confirmed that he would be standing as an independent council candidate in Woodhall.

He said he had abandoned BDP because they were reluctant to register him. “I tried but failed. I think there are people within the party structures who saw me as a threat,” he said. Whatever the case, it is a punishable offence to destroy anyone’s political campaign material. IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba, who said the Matsheka-Seetso case was the first of its kind, said anyone found guilty would dance to the music.

He made reference to the Electoral Act. He said if someone was reported to them, they would assist them and they would be handed over to the police who enforce laws. “If someone is incriminated in defacing political campaign material, they will be charged. As the IEC we do not enforce the laws but we are willing to assist with the procedure of bringing someone to book.” (Visit The Midweek Sun facebook page to see the video in question).

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A welcome snitch

Yvonne Mooka

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CELLPHONE TRACKER: Tebogo Aaron says criminals have labelled him a snitch for helping the police track people’s stolen property

Tebogo Aaron works hand-in-hand with Botswana Police Service to track down missing and stolen cellphones.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, the 38-year-old man from Mahalapye says that on average, he traces between 25 and 50 mobile phones per day. He runs a store called Gadgets + Collectables, with two branches in Airport Junction and Phakakane’s Acacia mall.

Even though he sells a variety of gadgets, among them cellphones, Bluetooth speakers, laptops, it is the business of cellphone tracking that has given him a niche in the market. The Business Management and IT graduate says that his cellphone tracking business makes him stand out. “We are now in the era of cellphones. Almost every person has a cellphone and again, people steal them at a high rate,” he says.

Aaron provides police with leads, allowing them to do recoveries. He helps people who come with a police affidavit. “I have attracted hate from thugs thinking I’m a snitch,” he laughs.
But how long does it take for him to track down a cellphone? He says that the gadget becomes traceable the moment a sim card gets inserted inside.

His observation is that people have a tendency of buying stolen gadgets something he says is risky as one ends up charged by the police for buying a stolen item.
“Thugs steal phones with the intention to sell them, not to keep them. They want fast cash,” he says. And he says that thieves would go to an extent of creating fake Facebook pages to sell their stolen cellphones.

“Immediately after selling them, they delete the social media accounts while the buyer is left with it. People must take precaution,” he says. One of the people who have benefited from Aaron’s service, Lerato Lepang says her phone and wallet were snatched from her on June 4 in Molepolole.

“I reported with the police. A week later I heard of Gadgets + Collectables and decided to give it a shot. I went to the store on July 13 with a police affidavit as well as my phone details.“Five days later I received a call from them saying they had details of someone who had my phone,” she says. Another person Masego Mokgwatlheng says Aaron managed to recover her phone after a month in June.

She had forgotten it in a cab and traces showed that the cab driver had sold it to a Zimbabwean man. “I am now using my phone. It was made easier because I had a police affidavit,” she says. In addition to cellphone tracking, Aaron also tracks lost or stolen pets, bicycles and luggage. He has five employees.

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