Situation with autism in Ukraine is very sad: people know very little about this problem, the state does nothing to improve the situation, but the absence of statistics of people with autism doesn’t mean that we don’t have such people. They do exist, and they and their parents suffer huge difficulties.
Inna Sergiyenko appeared in such situation when she found out that her son is autistic. She herself realized what it is to be a mother of a sick child. Her husband and she were pretty much concerned when their son was only 1.5 years old. They started asking doctors. The doctors said that everything would be fine and they don’t need to worry. But the parents didn’t calm down and took the boy to Israel when he was 2,2 years old. “For an hour he played in the doctor’s cabinet, when the doctor said: “No eye contact. Didn’t notice when the parents left the room, doesn’t want to point at objects. Very fast neurologist gave us signs, which leaded to a diagnosis” – says Inna. Israel doctors taught parents how they should raise such child. But the family needed to go back home to Ukraine, where there were no such specialist and centers for such children.
That’s when appeared the idea of creating a place which would give an opportunity for children with autism in Ukraine to obtain complex aid and the chance for normal social life. In 2009 Inna established International non- governmental organization “Children with autism support foundation “Child with future”. Its first project was establishing kindergarten for children with autism “Child with future”.
Today kindergarten is only one of the projects of the Foundation. Foundation took position of the lawyer of rights of children with autism in Ukraine and does everything so that Ukraine would have complex help for people with autism.
In 2011 within the framework of European days of spread of information about autism, Foundation carried out round table “Autism in Ukraine exists!” in order to create a dialog between all participants who are involved into the problem of autism in Ukraine: specialists, state authorities, representatives of social organizations, international experts and parents. Resolution was signed as a result of this round table, within the framework of which main problems and solutions were highlighted.
In 2012 Foundation signed Memorandum with Institute of correctional pedagogics of Dragomanov National Pedagogics University. Professors from the Institute will carry out consultations for parents of children with autism on issues which touch upon behavioral correction.
But for more effective and profound solution of problem we needed to have a dialog with executive authorities, namely Ministry for Health Protection of Ukraine. Finally the Foundation was invited to become a member of social council at the Ministry. Together we worked out program of proliferation of information about autism in clinics for both- parents and pediatricians.
Foundation organized regular visits of American professor of psychology from Argosy University, Virgina Bassi, twice a year in order to organize and carry out trainings for specialist and parents as well as consultations for children who attend kindergarten “Child with future.”
Foundation became the member of leading European Organization Autism Europe, and its founder Inna Sergiyenko, was elected as the Council of the Organization.