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 and Ustodesign, 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.
His Excellency British Ambassador Hugh Philpott in Tajikistan supportedWorld Autism Awareness Day organized by "The Initiative of Tajikistan’s Parents of Children with Autism IRODA" together with five UN agencies to attract wide audience’s attention towards autism spectrum disorders.
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!
Tajik hip hop artist Baha84 has supported World Autism Awareness Day with this song.The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.