“Autism Support Centre in Rēzekne” is a society which together with organising different activities for children with the autism diagnosis also raises funding and attracts specialists for work with these children.
This year, on February 22nd, the Society “Autism Support Centre in Rēzekne” organised an interactive seminar “Inclusive Education: Rights. Goals. Meanings”. The author and leader of the seminar was Ekaterina Men’, who was born here in Daugavpils, but since 1985 has been living in Moscow. Ekaterina Men’ is the president of the independent non-profit organisation “Centre for Autistic Problems”, a member of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Expert Council for the Education of Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. A co-author and co-organiser of the adaptation of the first Russian inclusive education model for children with ASD “Inclusion 1465”. The creator and content manager of the annual international scientific practical conference “Autism. Challenges and Solutions”. The initiator of the creation of a professional education field for the preparation of ABA therapy specialists, as well as the first designer of a professional training course for work with children on the autism spectrum on the basis of Russian higher education institutions. The general theme of the seminar was the notion of inclusion, inclusive education, autism as a special need for education, a child with autism in school – approaches which guarantee success for these children. Ekaterina Men’ told the seminar participants how all of this started, because her education was neither pedagogical nor medical; however, she is a mother with a child on the autism spectrum. After listening to this seminar, I understood that everyone is exceptional, and this is a reason to be happy about life. Inclusion means willing to experience this diversity together, i.e. normal children together with children on the spectrum. Inclusion is more than integrating people with differences in a group. It means saying YES to diversity, because every one of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, including children with ASD. It means believing in all children without exception that they want to and are able to learn. The objective of inclusion is to find a way to support this desire in the children. A big thank you is in order to Ekaterina Men’ for coming such a long way to give us an idea of the essence of inclusion and to the founders of the society “Autism Support Centre in Rēzekne” who ensured that this seminar took place here in Rēzekne as well!
Krister’s mum Santa