Family of autistic boy from Harlesden inspiring kids to see ’possibility not disability’

PUBLISHED: 17:52 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 28 April 2020

Janelle Victry Pamphile with son Madiba

Janelle Victry Pamphile with son Madiba


The mother of a lively autistic boy is planning a talent show with a difference for when covid lockdown measures end.

Madiba Pamphile. Picture: Janelle PamphileMadiba Pamphile. Picture: Janelle Pamphile

Janelle Victry Pamphile believes with all her heart that autistic children can “climb the highest mountain and they can swim in the deepest blue sea”.

With her help and support her six-year-old son Madiba has gone from being a silent child to chatty one and has even co-authored a book, Madiba.

The pair had planned to launch Brent Autistic Children Got Talent as part of World Autistic Awareness week earlier this month but the coronavirus pandemic has put the spectacular on hold.

Madiba was diagnosed with autism when he was five years old, after not speaking for years. His mum said he was “being judged more for his behaviour than the spectrum”.

Janelle Victry Pamphile with son MadibaJanelle Victry Pamphile with son Madiba

She changed his diet and leant on her faith.

She added: “Madiba is six-years-old now and you can’t shut him up. The book was written when he was struggling and going through speech therapy.

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“I wrote the book with my son because I wanted to share the story. I took his pain, his behavioural issues, at the time he wasn’t speaking and couldn’t communicate well so I combined all this with him.

“Everything came from my son. Madiba is inspiring people around the world regardless of race, colour, and creed to think big.

“He’s autistic and he goes to Stonebridge Primary School.

“He is using his disability as a possibility. He’s not looking at the disability, he’s not looking at the autism, he can become anything.

“He’s seeing that autistic children are amazing, they can climb the highest mountain and they can swim in the deepest sea. “The book is about giving children possibilities, to think big, that there is no limit in what they can become.”

Janelle is working with schools, Brent Council and the parents of autistic children and hopes to launch the talent show in June.

Children will showcase their skills including “poetry, singing, dancing, reading, spelling, whatever they are good at, building their confidence, allowing them to stand in front of people and share their stories, express their feelings”.

“It’s so important to allow kids to express how they feel,” she said, adding: “As soon as we get out of the lockdown we are starting. We have kids already rehearsing, there’s a lot of excitement.”

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