What do parents of children with differences in their development want?
To meet a professional who will listen to their worries, thoughts, and feelings. Someone who will take the time to answer their questions about their child. A person who will help them to make plans to support their child’s learning and development, and while doing so build their confidence as a parent. Someone who acknowledges and affirms what their family is already doing to support their child. Conversations that are filled with honesty and hope, with objectivity and without judgement. People that interact with respect and understanding.
This week, IRODA, with support from the Open Society Foundation, hosted training for national service providers, and members of the Early Intervention and Early Inclusive Development Network from four regions of Tajikistan. Hollie Hix-Small from the University of Portland, Oregon, presented practical training for professionals working with young children in Tajikistan. Frequently parents of children with autism in Tajikistan report that they have felt professionals have not taken the time to listen to their concerns, judged their parenting and left them feeling hopeless and unsupported. Through training such as this week’s event IRODA is hoping to shift the way in which professionals interact with and support families. Professionals are being given tools to build the capacity of families to promote their children’s development and participation in everyday routines.
As an organisation that has been founded by parents of children with autism IRODA is well placed to help shift the way in which health and education staff work with families. We hope to continue to provide training that will mean more parents across Tajikistan have the opportunity to work with professionals that recognise their strengths, build their capacity as a family and support them to promote their child’s development in everyday life. Thank you for your on-going support as we seek to bring about change in Tajikistan… Changes in professional’s approaches, philosophies and attitudes… and ultimately changes for children and their families.