One child with autism in every 58 births worldwide – Support services for 600 families and waiting lists

The percentage of children with autism is increasing worldwide

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The percentage of children with autism has increased worldwide, the President of the Pancypriot Association for People with Autism, Tasoula Georgiadou, told KYPE, who indicated that data from global statistics indicate that a child with autism is identified in every 58 births.

Asked, on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day, which is celebrated on April 2, to state whether the percentage of children with autism in Cyprus is high, Ms. Georgiadou said that in Cyprus there has never been a record to have an exact number children.

As he explained, the only data that Cyprus has are from the world statistics, which currently speak of a child with autism every 58 births, to note that this is "a huge number".

Support services for 600 families and waiting lists

According to Mrs. Georgiadou, the Pancypriot Association with Autism currently serves 600 families, who receive services and support.

He expressed, however, the certainty that there are many more families, but as he explained the Association is facing difficulties to serve more.

He said that in some cases they have waiting lists, because they cannot serve more families, since the Day and Treatment Centers are overcrowded in numbers.

He explained that the Association only has about ten buildings, which are for rent, to add that the fund for rent is very large.

As he mentioned, new Centers and spaces must be created, however, he added that this is quite difficult, since the Association does not have privately owned spaces.

It takes a lot of mental strength

When asked what are the challenges that parents have to face, the President of the Pancypriot Association for People with Autism said that "it takes a lot of mental strength and a lot of support, so that parents can keep a healthy environment in their home and not break up the family".

He said that "it is important when the parent receives the diagnosis to have a supportive framework, which will support him, empower him and guide him to manage such a situation".

"The parent," Mrs. Georgiadou stressed, "is called upon to keep the family together and support his home. Ignorance, pain, sadness and anger can have an impact on the whole family, but also on the couple's relationship."

Acceptance by society is required

Mrs. Georgiadou declares that the acceptance and inclusion of children with autism in society is imperative.

"When we accept these children and include them in our society, then we will be a healthy society and a whole society," he said.

Participation in the consultation to change the legislation

Referring to the effort being made to change the legislation, which concerns people with disabilities, as well as the consultations between the state and the Cyprus Confederation of Disabled Organizations (CYSOA), Ms. Georgiadou said that the state must take into account all other organizations , serving people with disabilities.

"We cannot be absent from the consultation on the legislation, which will be able to determine important things in general for people with disabilities. Let all the organizations sit at the table, before they end up changing the legislation," he said.

Marches in all cities to raise awareness

It is noted that the Pancypriot Association for People with Autism, in view of World Autism Awareness Day, is organizing a Cyprus-wide information campaign tonight.

As part of this event, public buildings and historical monuments will be illuminated and marches will be held in Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos and Larnaca.

The Cypriot awareness and information marches are held under the patronage of the First Lady and will start at 19:00.

Specifically, in Nicosia the march will start from the House of Representatives and finish at Eleftherias Square, in Limassol from Limassol City Hall and finish at the Old Port Square, in Paphos from Kykkou Lyceum and finish at Paphos City Hall, while in Larnaca from the Museum Pieridis and finish in Zouchori Square.

It is noted that on this particular day, central buildings and historical monuments in the capitals of various countries, including Cyprus, are illuminated in blue and many awareness and information events are held.

The President of the Pancypriot Association with Autism explained that various actions are taking place all over the world, with the aim of informing the public, while he noted that monuments and buildings are illuminated in blue, which was chosen to represent autism.

Cyprus, he said, has been participating for 14 years in this global event.