CORONA AND AUTISM: Will we emerge from a pandemic in more solidarity?
Restrictive measures imposed by countries to combat the coronavirus, including the restriction of movement, were difficult for everyone. We often lose sight of the fact that these restrictions particularly affect the most vulnerable among us, such as children, the elderly, as well as our fellow citizens who are less visible even in regular circumstances.
For people with autism to have the quality of life and personal improvement, a daily routine is very important. That is why the decision was made to allow them and their companions to leave the house even during curfew, said Danijela Nesovic, president of the Board of the Association for Assistance to People with Autism.
“The city of Kragujevac is one of the first in Serbia to recognize and understand the needs of people with autism and allowed them to go for walks during a curfew. The Serbian government's regulation now permits it nationwide, allowing families to carry out daily routines with these children more easily and thus overcome these difficult times. This is especially important when considering that staying indoor all day long creates aggression and self-aggression in people with autism.”, explained Danijela Nesovic, a mother of a young man with autism.
According to her, the media also helped by reporting on the needs of these persons and their families. As before, religious and other organizations have shown solidarity through humanitarian donations, including donations of masks for members of the Association. She also said that members of the Kragujevac police department recognize people with autism and do not attempt to legitimize their companions during walks.
"I believe that we strive for solidarity and democratic society where people with autism are recognized, but much more needs to be done to raise the awareness to an even higher level.", says Danijela Nesovic.
When asked if this time, when we are all questioning ourselves, will make a better society in which everyone can express their potential, Danijela Nesovic said that, at this moment, we cannot know.
"Experience showed that the period after the bombing, when there was also solidarity due to the state of emergency, did not bring a better attitude towards people with autism. However, the interest we see lately gives us hope that society will come out of this pandemic better.", said Danijela Nesovic, president of the Board of the Association for Assistance to People with Autism from Kragujevac.
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