Only every 10th specialist is satisfied with the available infrastructure for people with special needs

Results of a survey on autism. December 2020 

The majority of Ukrainian specialists believe that the level of awareness and access to information about autism is satisfactory, and every third is not satisfied with the state of the industry. These are the survey results of the participants of the Second International Practical Conference on Autism IPAC 2020 – about 300 specialists and involved persons dealing with autism in Ukraine.

Representatives of almost all regions of Ukraine took part in the survey. The organizers of IPAC 2020 note that, although the survey is not representative, it objectively reflects the opinion of the national professional environment, since almost half of the audience are representatives of inclusive resource centers, a third are representatives of state educational institutions, as well as relatives of autistic people and representatives of public organizations dealing with autism.

Every third respondent believes that family members take insufficient part in the upbringing and development of autistic children and almost 40% are not satisfied with the level of preschool support for children with special needs.

The highest level of dissatisfaction with the support of autistic people is in higher educational institutions – 75%, slightly less (51 and 50%, respectively) – in the lower grades and the middle and senior grades.

As the analysis of the data has shown, the level of questions and the presence of problems is approximately identical for all regions of Ukraine, regardless of the residence place of the respondents. However, one regional feature should be highlighted – it is high in comparison with other regions activity, which was demonstrated both at the conference and in the survey by representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Only 17% of respondents are satisfied with access to professional services for autistic people in their region, while 73% are not satisfied. 88% of respondents are not satisfied with the existing infrastructure for the development and leisure of autistic people in the region. Only 9% of specialists say that they have all the necessary services for people with special needs in the region.

None of the respondents noted that the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the physical and psychological state of autistic people. More than a third of specialists assess this influence as extremely negative, and 62% of respondents – as negative.

The main problems for autistic people in Ukraine in 2020:

  1. Isolation and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Lack of qualified specialists and infrastructure for their training.
  3. Underdeveloped infrastructure for people with special needs.
  4. Lack of education and unpreparedness of society to accept people with special needs.
  5. Insufficient awareness of parents.

The International Practical Conference on Autism IPAC 2020 is an annual event in the field of autism, which gathers and provides the best practical cases of international and Ukrainian experts who work daily with people with mental and speech developmental delays, autism, alalia, and other mental disorders. The initiator and organizer of IPAC 2020 is the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation.