UNICEF Iran Representative Message on opening of Autism Park in Tabriz
Tehran, 06 August 2013- Today, I am very pleased that an autism park is being inaugurated in Tabriz exclusively made and designed for children living with autism.
UNICEF recognises the importance of childhood as a crucial time of growth and development, and also of increased vulnerability. We believe that every child should have full access to the opportunities for rest and play. Children with disabilities are not an exception in this regard.
Like all children, those with disabilities have many abilities, but are often excluded from society by discrimination and lack of support, leaving them among the most invisible and vulnerable children in the world.
Children with disabilities should enjoy all the rights common to every child, and participate in making decisions that affect their lives. And they must be visible, valued and seen as active participants and contributors, rather than beneficiaries of charity.
Sport and recreation are one of the most important ways by which children with disabilities and their families can dramatically reduce their daily stress and help grow to their full abilities.
Due to their certain conditions, children with autism cannot play in any park or open area and might easily go missing adding up to the stress their parents are experiencing on a daily basis. Allocating a specific park for children with autism is measure which should be appreciated by everyone.
Let me once again appreciate the efforts of all those who have worked hard to make this park open and running today, namely the Tabriz Autism Association and the Tabriz Municipality’s parks and green space organization.
Let’s hope that the decision makers and the community can join efforts to make sure all children with disabilities have easy access to the required services and spaces to enjoy their childhood fully and to its maximum extent.