Istanbul, Turkey — Despite the fact that their country is lagging behind treatments available for children with autism, families in Turkey who care for children on the spectrum believe that education is the cure for autism.
There are an estimated 450,000 autistics in Turkey but many if not most live an isolated existence. The fear of most parents resonates around the globe:
“Who will look after my autistic child if I die?”
Elif Yanak— whose daughter, Rana, had been undergoing intervention ever since she was diagnosed with autism at 20 months old— is one of those who believe in the key role that education holds for the children on the spectrum. She told:
“Education is indispensable (…) as the autistic children differ greatly (from others) in many cognitive and behavioral aspects.”
She continues to add that Rana has come a long way during her three years of education, and has improved, “both her personal and intellectual skills with the treatment. I hope she will get much better.”
The “Education Program for Autistic Children” has only been in preparation by the Turkish Ministry of Culture since in 1995. Many countries in the west first began developing a special curriculum in 1944.
Sua Eric, President to the Istanbul-based Federation of Autism Associations told:
“Nearly all groups of disabled people in Turkey face some form of discrimination, especially with regards to access to education. Unfortunately, an autistic may be facing violations in his or her right to an adequate standard of living, the right to education, the right to health and the right to employment.”
Further adding that individuals with autism are able to carry out many jobs and that more job opportunities should be made available.
Source: The Journal of Turkish Weekly: Tailored education is the treatment for autism