Born: 1985
Financial adoption: Fam. Gailing, (Ananse) Germany.
Cynthia has spent many years, no one can remember exactly how long, at the children ward of the psychiatric hospital in Accra. She was transferred as a girl of about 13 years old. Cynthia is deeply autistic and she has a learning disability. She does not speak but understands more than outsiders on first sight might assume. She tolerates eye contact but not gladly. She can get happily exited when someone touches her head or holds her hands. Sometimes she takes someone’s hand and holds it for hours. She may also grab your hand and lay it on her head as if to say it is time for my caresses now. At times she makes rhythmical movements with her upper body which communicates either boredom or, if agitated, an overdose of excitement. She spends the mornings at the table with the others who have autism and sometimes works with beads. She will passively hold up the needle while someone else may put a bead over the needle. Cynthia is happy at the workshop in the autistic hall for it is a very safe place with a quiet pleasant atmosphere. Cynthia is good at showing what she wants. She can make you suddenly sit down on a chair or bench beside her. If she wants to be touched on her scalp or hold hands with you, you are in no doubt about her wishes for she grasps your hands and executes her plan. Strangers may feel somewhat perplexed when they find themselves suddenly sitting with her holding her hands. Cynthia, like many people with autism, thrives on a regular daily routine. Every morning she walks with her caregiver and sister Alice and immediately after breakfast she runs to the workshop to take her place. Other certainties are the daily swimming hour and the evening TV time. She absolutely does not want to diverge from her steady pattern.