She was the first to defend her doctoral dissertation: Dina Shulzhenko told why she connected her life with autism

Dina Shulzhenko – Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor of the Department of Psychocorrectional Pedagogy, Faculty of Special and Inclusive Education, Dragomanov Kyiv University. This is the first person in Ukraine to defend a doctoral dissertation on autism. She is the author of many works and studies. Her specialization includes individual correction of children with autism and work with parents – psychotherapy. In addition, Dina Shulzhenko trains specialists, develops new disciplines and actively participates in international conferences, which she often organizes herself.

As part of «The beginnings» project, she explained why she decided to pursue this topic, because, unlike many of the characters in our interviews, she does not have a child with autism.

Dina Shulzhenko is sure that Ukraine has every chance to become the best among those countries that have successful cases in creating services for special people – both adults and children. But this requires continued joint efforts.

Dina also pointed out the problematic places of correction of autism in Ukraine. According to her, this is mainly about education, because many teachers are not ready to change their thinking and work with an autistic child differently than with others.

“Ukrainian society often either lacks flexibility or does not want to move away from stereotypes. I talk about this very often in my courses. About this and about emotional control,” – says Dina Shulzhenko. See the full version of the interview here: