Lecture-Seminar –Autism: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

May 3, 2014, 06:00

On May 2, Arabaev Kyrgyz State University hosted a lecture called Autism: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder" forsixty-two teachers, directors of public, private and special kindergartens, speech therapists, psychologists from Sezim Crisis Center,professors from KRSU, KSU and BSU, as well as students from Arabaev’s Psychology Department.

Lecturers including were Dzhyldyz Sadykova,chairwoman of the Hand in Hand public association of parents of autistic children,Natalia Shevchenko, pediatrician, psychologist and educator at Hand in Hand, Olga Yarova, Master of Psychology and professor of Introduction to Autism and ABA Therapy, and Developmental Psychology, among others,in AUCA’s Psychology Department and Anara Asanalieva, Director of Hand in Hand.

The lecture focused on the following questions:

• Autism,its prevalence in the world and the situation in Kyrgyzstan.

• Signs of autism, sensory problems and peculiarities of perception and development.

• Applied behavior analysis as an effective method of correcting behavior and the inclusion of children with autistic syndrome in preschool educational environment.

• Hand in Hand’s experience in working with children with ASD,caretakers and the role of tutors.

According to research, one out of every 68 persons in the world shows symptoms of autism. At the same time, early screening of children up to 24 months provides more opportunities to socialize children. Children with all but the most severe forms autism can be taught in ordinary schools and kindergartens where there are special teaching methods in place that allow them to overcome their and behavior problems.

Each lecturer emphasized that the situation of public awareness about the problems of autism has changed for the better over the past five years. There are more websites in Russian about autism; measures are being taken at the government levelto address autism. The Soros Foundation has supported a project to establish classes for 7-8 different autistic children each in 34 secondary schools, where these children can be prepared for school under the supervision of foreign experts. The project will also train tutors who will help teachers work with autistic children.

In the future, the Roza Otunbayeva Initiative plans to conduct information campaigns on autismthroughout Kyrgyzstan.

Hand in Hand encourages universities with faculties and departments of pedagogy and psychology to work together to train and retrain teachers and psychologists on teachingautistic children.