School to Be Opened for Children with Autism

A rehabilitation center and school for children with autism will be built in Tbilisi, on territory that the state will allocate, said Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze.

"The center will be designed for 230 beneficiaries, which is an important support strategy for our children and their families," he added.

Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain and is characterized by a pronounced and comprehensive lack of social interaction and communication, limited interests and repetitive actions, and often extreme hostility to certain sounds, textures or tastes.

How many people suffer from autism in Georgia is not clear; however, parents of these children repeatedly complain about the lack of rehabilitation centers. In 2013, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia opened integrated classes in state schools throughout the country within the framework of the program Promoting Inclusive Education. Since then, experts have been working on improving the model.

Specialists of the Institute for Child Development at the Ilia State University developed a new model for teaching children with autism, which was piloted in state school No. 55 in Tbilisi. This model implies the use of various auxiliary educational resources among students with autism.

The main task of specialists working with such children is to choose the key of communication with them, to interest them in the educational process and the surrounding world.

At present, integrated classes are working in eight public schools in Georgia: Tbilisi (№166, №72, №41, №132, №55 and Tbilisi classical gymnasium), in Batumi (№13) and in Rustavi (№21).

By Shawn Wayne

13 September 2018 10:41