Support for Children with Autism in Tajikistan

by IRODA 'Parents of Children with Autism Initiative'
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.  

Summer fun at the aqua park
Summer fun at the aqua park

This summer in Tajikistan many of the children IRODA works with enjoyed time at the Aqua Park.  IRODA is always looking for new opportunities for children with autism to have fun alongside other children in the community.  A lack of public awareness about autism sometimes makes it hard for families to go on outings with their children.  However IRODA has found that going places as a group provides the support needed for children and families to try new things.

IRODA staff approached the Aqua Park earlier in the summer and organized regular days that they could come as a group to enjoy swimming and playing in the water.  Some lovely summer days were then spent with children and their parents making the most of the city’s Aqua Park.  The water not only provides a cool and relaxing place on a hot summer’s day but also a great place in which to learn new movement, communication, social and play skills.

Thank you for your support of IRODA’s work and being part of creating new and fun opportunities for children with autism in Tajikistan.   

Parent meeting at IRODA
Parent meeting at IRODA

IRODA was started by a group of parents who understand the challenges that can arise when parenting a child with autism.  Whenever possible IRODA looks for opportunities to support parents in this role.  Recently we were thankful to have a visiting medical professional from the UK who is also a parent of a child with autism himself.  He was able to meet with parents connected with IRODA and share from his own personal experience as well as his professional background.

Time spent discussing stress-management strategies and suggesting ways parents could help themselves and help each other was of great value.  IRODA hopes to continue to facilitate opportunities for parents to get the support they need while also reaching out to one another.  We are grateful for your partnership with IRODA that enables us to continue to find new ways to help children with autism and their parents in Tajikistan.  

Out and about in the city...
Out and about in the city...

April has become globally recognized as Autism Awareness Month. For the last 6 years IRODA has made a focused effort in the month of April to increase understanding of autism amongst the general public. Prior to IRODA beginning it’s work here there was very little knowledge of autism amongst the medical profession and it was difficult for people with autism and their families to find acceptance or understanding within Tajik society.

As well as undertaking public awareness campaigns IRODA has created opportunities for families and their children with autism to participate in activities together within the community. It can be difficult for families to do this on their own when they feel a lack of support or acceptance when out in public with their child. But together families and children with autism have had lots of new and positive experiences in the community.

This April a group of volunteers in Tajikistan initiated a bike ride through the city to raise awareness about autism and IRODA’s work. It has been exciting to see other groups within Tajik society coming alongside IRODA to help increase understanding and work towards changing societal attitudes.

Thank you for your support of IRODA’s work in Tajikistan that is promoting greater awareness of autism and creating new opportunities for children adn with families. 

Along with the everyday work that IRODA does with children with autism and their families we are always looking for opportunities to train others. Over the last few years IRODA has been working towards having input into University courses. Previously doctors and teachers have graduated from University with no knowledge of autism and how it may impact on children that they see or teach.

It has been an exciting step forward for IRODA staff to recently be invited to give lectures on autism to teaching and medical students. The hope is that this information will later be incorporated into University courses and that future students will graduate with knowledge and skills to work effectively with people with autism.  

As with much of IRODA's work time and resources are required for building relationships with decision makers in areas such as the University sector. We greatly appreciate your on-going support that allows the IRODA staff to invest in opportunities such as the work with the University, that we hope in time will lead to a generation of skilled, supportive and understanding professionals equipped to make a difference in the lives of people with autism in Tajikistan.   


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Organization Information

IRODA 'Parents of Children with Autism Initiative'

Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan - Tajikistan
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Karen Purdie
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

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