The ‘Autism Europe’ Consul and the founder of the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation Inna Sergiyenko, took part in a talk show on the ‘Suspіlne Bukovyna’ TV channel about the socialization of autistic children. The program aired on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day.
Inna Sergienko said that parents do not always notice all the signs indicating that their child is developing differently. The most common nuance voiced when they come to see the doctors is that their son or daughter does not speak. With everything else, there doesn’t seem to be a problem.
The Consul emphasized, when specialists talk to the child and test him, they notice many other signs that point to autism. And only then do parents realize that they saw these features, but did not pay attention to them.
Inna Sergienko said that the lives of families who knew that they are raising an autistic child are bound to change. However, it is up to the parents to decide in what direction.
“If we treat this as some kind of tragedy and think that we have to bear our cross, we will bear it. If we say it’s a challenge, that God sent us this child so that we can do something for him and others like him, then our lives become more interesting than they were before. We open up new horizons. I, for example, was not a social activist before I had an autistic son. But I became. And now I have many acquaintances from all over the world,” said Inna Sergienko. And added: “Parents should always try to understand their child and start communicating with them.”
The ‘Autism Europe’ Consul noted: autism is not curable. Only the comorbidities that often accompany this disorder can be treated.
The topic of pandemics and quarantine was not ignored during the conversation on the air. After all, if the number of coronavirus patients grows, local authorities have the power to suspend work, including that of educational institutions, and move them online. That’s what they did, for example, in Kyiv. However, in such classes, special children mostly endure hard.
“They can’t hold their attention for so long, they switch to something else. Thus, they are distracted from the topic of the class. And if within the walls of the classroom the teacher can make a remark and return the child’s attention, there is no such opportunity in a distance class. Besides, autistic children have a hard time accepting changes, including the daily routine. They need to be prepared for everything in advance, warning them how long it will last. But we do not know when the quarantine will end, so we can’t warn them,” Inna Sergienko said.
Also, the founder of the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation raised the topic of adult autism. She noted: the problem of employment for autistic adults is not only in Ukraine but also far beyond its borders. “That is why the main topic for April 2 this year has become the message – “I can work”. That is what we are fighting for now,” Inna Sergienko emphasized.
Watch the full video about the socialization of special children in Ukraine here: