Hundreds of blue balloons were released into the sky to draw attention to the Light Up Blue campaign to mark United Nations Autism Awareness Day on April 2 in Almaty organised by AssylMiras, a private fundIn addition, the fund will open four resource centres in Kazakhstan to help combat the growing disease.
“We intend to develop and implement a variety of services within the walls of this [Almaty] resource centre. They include diagnostic services, rehabilitation services and medical support. We propose introducing a model of inclusive education in order to prepare children with autism for school,” said Marat Aitmagambetov, director of the Assyl Miras Fund in an interview with Kazakh TV.
The main goal of these centres is to improve the quality of life of children with autism and their families through early diagnosis, rehabilitation and inclusive education and social integration. Children with autism will receive qualified rehabilitation services in the centres and will be integrated into society, while their parents will receive all necessary information, advice and psychological assistance. It is planned to help socialise and rehabilitate more than 1,000 families. Approximately 15 percent of people in Kazakhstan will gain primary knowledge of autism during the first three years.
“It is important that the government pays attention to autism and introduces a system of early detection and timely assistance for children with the Autism Spectre Disorder (ASD) and their families, based on the principles of early diagnosis, comprehensive rehabilitation, quality education and social adaptation. We also believe that Kazakh society must know more about people with autism and not alienate them, serve their needs and support their families,”Aitmagambetov told kursiv.kz.
In total, 77 cases of autism were registered in Kazakhstan in 2003 and today, there are 1,500 cases nationwide, according to Kazakh TV. Almaty and the country’s capital Astana are to open the doors of the first autism resource centres in May-June of this year, while the Oskemen and Kyzylorda centres are to follow in 2016. These centres will serve children and take special measures regarding insulation and colour combinations, as some colours may adversely affect the perception of children with autism.