During the International Conference on Autism “Opening Doors”, Eugenia Tymoshenko, President of the Association of International and All-Ukrainian NGOs “Social Protection”, stressed the inadequate attention paid to the issue of autism in Ukraine and called NGOs and the government to work together on creating mechanisms for a systemic solution of the problem in Ukraine.
“This is a great honour for us to be a co-organizer of the International Conference and to call together all those who can answer numerous questions concerning communication with children with autism and their education,” – Eugenia Tymoshenko said.
“We ought to speak aloud about the problem of autism. We must recognize that we have a great number of such special children. They are wonderful and talented children; they are special and in view of this they are especially talented and sensitive for this world, they need our care, attention and protection.”
She underlined that there are no mechanisms at the moment in Ukraine to solve the problem of autism: there is no early diagnosis of autism and no methods and approaches to correction and education of children with autism.
According to her, there are no real statistic data on the issue in Ukraine. Officially, there are only 3000 autists registered when in fact 1 of every 52 boys and 1 of every 250 girls are born with of autism spectrum disorders.
“This means we have about 60 thousands of such persons. This causes great concern. Today, we demand from the state to begin collecting the statistic data, to hold a public campaign on informing the society about the problem of autism and to create a system of early diagnosis and therapy of autism,” – Eugenia Tymoshenko added.
In her turn, ABA therapist Oksana Eslinger, mother of a child with autism who lives in the US, noted that Ukraine would have to come a long way to the creation of an effective system to help children with autism.
“In the US, the problem hasn’t been solved in a day. Only thanks to joint efforts by parents, NGOs and the government we will be able to help the special children,” – she said.
“As the mother of a 10-year old boy with autism, I can say that raising an autistic child is not a sprint, but rather a marathon that requires constant patience”.
Olga Ladna, Co-organizer of the event and Chairwoman of the Board of NGO “We Are Together!”, stated this was the first international conference on the problem of autism and expressed her hope that such exchanges of thoughts and experience would help to solve the problem of autism in Ukraine.
“We are very grateful for the support and attention to our problem. This is an important conference and event for the parents of children with autism. Guests from all over Ukraine and even from abroad came here today to listen to international specialists and to share their experience. I hope we will be able to help the parents of children with autism,” – she said.
We would like to remind that the International Conference on Autism “Opening Doors” is held on 13-14 October in Kyiv with the participation of specialist from Ukraine, Israel and the USA: Andriy Prymak, Robert Buckendorf, Sharlene Joachim, Susan Wiley, Karen Robbins, Oksana Elsinger and Maryna Krisov. The aim of the event held by the Association of International and All-Ukrainian NGOs “Social Protection” and NGO “We Are Together!” with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, is to provide information about the key modern methods and approaches to correction and education of children with autism.