Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan

by IRODA 'Parents of Children with Autism Initiative'
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan
Working hard at "Dar Yak Zamin" Cafe
Working hard at "Dar Yak Zamin" Cafe

IRODA’s work has grown as the children that it supports have grown up. In October 2017 IRODA opened a training café to provide opportunities for the young people it supports to gain skills for employment. Named after a song produced by a popular Tajik singer “Dar Yak Zamin” (On One Land) the café is another way to advocate for opportunities for young people with autism two work and participate in society alongside their peers – ‘on one land’.

IRODA staff create a supportive environment in which to teach young people social and communication skills important in a work place. The training café is giving them specific skills useful in the hospitality industry as well instilling in them the importance of punctuality, presentation and commitment to a job.

Young volunteers work alongside the adolescents that IRODA supports creating wonderful opportunities for inclusion and positive social interaction in the work place. Over the last 3 months it has been encouraging to see an increase in skills, confidence and self-esteem of the young people at ‘Dar Yak Zamin’.

Thank you for your support that is enabling children with autism to grow into young people who are ready to work as valued members of society on (this) one land. Dar Yak Zamin!  

Thankful for the community support of our cafe
Thankful for the community support of our cafe
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First day of school in Tajikistan
First day of school in Tajikistan

The 1st of September marked the beginning of a new school year in Tajikistan. IRODA would like to share with you the words shared with supporters as the school year commenced:

Congratulations to everyone on the start of the new school year!

We believe that education should be accessible to all, regardless of any physical, mental or sensory differences. Therefore, we are glad that with your help, today there are children with autism are going to schools and kindergartens!

September 1 is a day of knowledge..... For parents who have been preparing for this day for many years there are tears of joy. Five years ago the inclusion of children with autism in mainstream schools was just a dream. Now as a result of the perseverance and incredible effort of parents and parent-led organizations in promoting inclusion it is now a reality. Mainstream schools (No. 54, No. 70, No. 29, No. 28 and No. 72) in the city of Dushanbe are examples of this dream come true.

Today our children, who are graduates of early intervention programs and adaptive classes at IRODA, are attending school. 11 children with autism commenced first grade. 12 students progressed to higher grades in mainstream schools. 30 children who have autism and additional challenges are supported in special classes at 2 different Dushanbe schools. IRODA is extremely thankful to all involved in making this dream a reality. Our thanks goes to the school directors, teachers, specialists, parents, employees of public organizations and tutors for their solidarity and persistence over the last 5 years.

Meetings between IRODA staff and teachers of schools in Dushanbe, who are working towards inclusive education, preceded the success of today. Teachers of 8 schools took part in a workshop on how to develop and adapt the curriculum for children with autism or intellectual challenges. Participants shared their experiences with each other and discussed opportunities to improve the learning process for children with differences in their development. Important discussions were also had on the need for training for high school teachers and support for young people transitioning to the senior years.

Once again we thank you for your on-going support of IRODA’s work. We trust you share in the excitement of momentous days like the 1st of September that mark dreams becoming a reality in Tajikistan.

 

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Promoting parent child relationships in Tajikistan
Promoting parent child relationships in Tajikistan

IRODA has been privileged to be involved in the beginnings of ‘Mellow Parenting’ Programmes in Tajikistan. One of the very important aspects of IRODA’s work is providing support to parents who are raising children with autism in Tajikistan.   The Mellow Parenting programmes have been a wonderful way help parents as they develop a strong and positive relationship with their child. For 14 weeks parents meet together as a group on a weekly basis to share their own experiences of parenting, and develop new skills or ways of relating to their child. Reflections on videos of parents interacting with their children are used in the sessions, and there are times in which parents engage in fun activities with their children as a group.

It has been particularly encouraging to see mothers of children with autism now trained to facilitate mellow parenting groups. IRODA is committed to parents of children with autism in Tajikistan being well supported in everyway possible and has been pleased to see the support that these groups provide. The Mellow Parenting programmes have been a wonderful way to promote the development of relationships between parents and children in Tajikistan.

Parents involved in the programmes have said that:

“I felt that my child didn’t love me as he didn’t want to play with me. Now I can see some changes in our relationship.”

“When my child was diagnosed I had a hard time with stress and endless depression. After starting the group I understand how it’s important to have my own time and pay attention to myself. I’m starting to smile and feel a taste of life again”

Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to seek to bring about positive changes for families in Tajikistan.

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Important discussions on Autism Awareness Day
Important discussions on Autism Awareness Day

As World Autism Awareness day was acknowledged on April 2nd the IRODA staff in Tajikistan were once again making a concerted effort to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism in their country.   Since the organization’s beginning IRODA has been deliberate about both raising awareness of autism amongst the general public, and advocating for change in systems and policies. Two major events this month have highlighted how effectively IRODA is doing this.

With the support of the US Embassy in Dushanbe IRODA was able to work with a popular Tajik singer “Bakha 84” who released a song and video clip promoting the acceptance of children with different needs, and advocating for their rights to be part of family and community life in Tajikistan. In a country where institutionalization of children with special needs is still common the message of Bakha 84’s new release is an important one.

On the 5th of April at the United Nations Information and Resource Centre in Dushanbe important discussions occurred and a resolution was drafted for the recognition of autism as a diagnosis in Tajikistan. To date the government register does not include autism, and children are unable to receive an official diagnosis. This creates confusion for families and delays in children receiving early intervention and appropriate supports.   This high level advocacy that IRODA is involved in is creating changes to systems in order to create everyday opportunities for children with autism and their families.

As IRODA continues exciting initiatives like these attitudes of people like neighbors, classmates and shop assistants will change, systems and policies will recognize the necessary supports, and as a result children with autism and their families will experience acceptance, understanding and new opportunities.

Thank you for being part of making these changes happen!

Autism Awareness Day - working to change lives
Autism Awareness Day - working to change lives
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Training Tajik Doctors
Training Tajik Doctors

Since beginning it’s work IRODA has been committed to working with the Ministry of Health in Tajikistan to not only bring about change in the lives of individual children and families, but to also see changes in systems and services in Tajikistan.  In order to do this IRODA has formed partnerships both locally and internationally that have created opportunities for training within different sectors in Tajikistan.

In December IRODA was privileged to have a Neurologist from Australia visit.  IRODA worked with the Ministry of Health and through a US Embassy project to host a seminar for doctors at which Dr. Purdie was able to provide training on the management of seizures in children with autism and other individuals.    The seminar also provided the opportunity for IRODA to continue to build relationships with professionals working with the health system.  Important discussions were had on the need for early identification of autism and effective working relationships between doctors, families and service providers. 

IRODA is grateful for professionals from around the world who over the last 6 years have generously given their time and resources to bring about change in Tajikistan.  Significant changes have been made over these years in the lives of individuals, in societal attitudes, and within the health and education system in Tajikistan.  There continues to be much more to do however to see people with autism reaching their full potential as valued members of Tajik society.

Thank you for your partnership that is allowing this important work to continue.  

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Organization Information

IRODA 'Parents of Children with Autism Initiative'

Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan - Tajikistan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Karen Purdie
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
$52,006 raised of $70,000 goal
 
643 donations
$17,994 to go
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