BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 2. On April 2, within the framework of measures to educate about autism, the III International Autism ABA Azerbaijan Conference kicked off at the Heydar Aliyev Center, Trend reports.
The conference is jointly organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Heydar Aliyev Center, the Ministries of Health, Education, Labor and Social Protection of the Population, the State Committee for Family, Women and Children, the State Agency for Compulsory Medical Insurance, the Regional Development Public Association, the Public Association "Together and Healthy". The purpose of the conference is the early diagnosis of autism syndrome, the study of international best practices based on an inclusive and multidisciplinary approach, providing education and lifelong employment for people with autism, as well as drawing public attention to their problems, helping to improve the quality of life of people with autism.
Speaking at the opening of the conference held with the support of bp Azerbaijan, Tekfen İnşaat, "Beauttech and EKVİTA companies, Azerbaijan Hotel Association, Fairmont Baku, Marriott Baku Boulevard hotels, Ümid var Charitable Society, Deputy Minister of Education Firudin Gurbanov said studies show that autism cannot be cured with medication alone.
In his words, the main treatment for this disease is communication and education, as well as rehabilitation. The importance of supporting the integration of children with autism into society was noted.
Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Idayat Abdullayev stressed that support for children with disabilities is one of the main priorities of the state. He informed about the work carried out by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population in this area. It was reported that social payments to persons with disabilities have increased by 3.4 times over the past 4 years. In recent years, rehabilitation centers have been built in accordance with modern requirements. From 2019 through 2020, 12 rehabilitation centers and social state institutions were overhauled and put into use.
Abdullayev said that First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva provides great support to people with disabilities, especially children with disabilities in Azerbaijan. Today there are three children's rehabilitation centers that meet modern standards in the country. During the year, up to four thousand children with disabilities, as well as those with autism syndrome, are surrounded by social support in these rehabilitation centers.
Deputy Minister of Health Ilgar Gasimov spoke about the attention Azerbaijan pays to people in need of special care. He noted that people belonging to vulnerable groups are constantly under the control of Azerbaijan.
Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Aynur Sofiyeva noted that over the past 15 years, the number of children with autism born in marriage has increased by about 2.5 times. Important work is being done in the field of autism in Azerbaijan and certain results have been achieved, she said. There are positive trends in the education of the population in this area.
Sofiyeva recalled that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation opened a center for children with autism. According to her, this will help children with autism integrate into society and provide them with support.
Speaking further, Nigar Bayramova, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the State Agency for Compulsory Medical Insurance, emphasized the importance of strengthening attention and care for children with autism. She said that the field of autism treatment, like all other areas, is in the focus of attention of President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva. She also stressed the importance of early diagnosis of children with autism.
Leyla Taghiyeva, head of the international cooperation department of the Regional Development Public Association, said that ABA Azerbaijan is carrying out multi-vector and large-scale educational work on autism spectrum disorders.
Aytan Eynalova, chairman of the Public Association "Birgə və Sağlam" (Together and Healthy), said that every 44th child in the world is born with an autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, autism is becoming one of the main problems of society and the world.
In his video address, Professor Temple Grandin, who himself is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, spoke about his life, childhood difficulties, his research on autism and also his life experience.
Educational consultant Peter Grimes informed about the inclusive approach to education for all children in Azerbaijan. He said that in order to expand inclusive education, it is first important to create inclusive schools. Speaking about the studies and trainings conducted in Azerbaijan over the past 5 years, the education consultant emphasized the importance of improving the experience of teachers who have been trained in this area.
Another education consultant, Marieke Stevens, presented information about two studies conducted in Azerbaijan, citing statistics. She brought to the attention forms of support for children with disabilities in Azerbaijan. She also stressed that teachers should be trained. Stevens said that certain structures should conduct monitoring in this area.
"We see the development of inclusive education in Azerbaijan in recent years. Our research conducted in November last year showed that children with autism receive attention and care. After the classes, these children develop better," she noted.
Executive Director of Biruni University Binyamin Birkan spoke about the importance of special education and challenges in preparing children with autism for secondary school. He emphasized the importance of developing children with autism in various areas.
The presentation of the book "Let's Make a Contract" also took place within the framework of the conference.
The conference will also be held April 3. A concert with the participation of a young pianist with autism Alisakhib Bayramov and other artists will be held on April 3.