July 23, 2024

Nomsa Masoka, author of motivational book titled Unbreakable. Picture :Supplied

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By Mashudu Sadike

Pretoria – Having to raise a child diagnosed with autism can take its toll on a mother, but Nomsa Masoka chose to rise above it and instead learn from her ordeal – she has now written a book about her experience.

The motivational book titled Unbreakable is meant to inspire other mothers raising children with disabilities and reaffirms her commitment to helping children with special needs.

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Masoka’s son was just 3 years old when he was diagnosed with autism.

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About 16 years later, Bongumusa, now 19, has inspired his mother to take other mothers on a shared journey of raising a child with a disability.

“I saw the need to write a book about my life experiences of living with a kid who is autistic so that I can take other parents through the journey because the experience of raising a child with autism has been one of my proudest experiences,” she said.

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In the book, Masoka tells how she has risen above adversity and brought other mothers along to form lifelong friendships and offer support when she discovered that her purpose was to work with families and individuals with disabilities.

“I was inspired to write this book by my personal experience of raising my autistic son, and also being a speech therapist who works with disabilities. I wanted to help educate the public and also share the struggles families often face, and how society needs to change and be able to accept and accommodate our children.

“This book was also meant to empower other mothers and families in the process. It took me 14 years to write this book, which started more as a journal.

“My son having autism is the one who drives me to excel. When I look at him and where I want to see him in years to come, this motivates me to work in order to achieve great things for his comfort,” she said.

Masoka said there wasn’t much support available when her son was diagnosed, “especially regarding counselling after the diagnosis. Most people didn’t understand my child, including my family, so it was difficult for them to support me.

“I got most of the support from my helper at that time since she was staying with me. I also had to empower myself by reading books on autism and attending training courses, local and international, so that I could understand the condition and my child. This really empowered me.

“When I began to accept my son’s condition, I realised that it is my responsibility to advocate for him … so I ended up starting a support group for mothers of autistic children,” she said.

Masoka set up the support group called Mothers for Children with Autism in 2015.

Among the work the Mothers of Children with Autism, which now caters for about 160 mothers, is to help families find suitable school placement for children with autism.

Source: Pretoria News

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