22 July 2022

Turn barriers into opportunities

"Six months ago, I faced a problem: Ulyana needed to switch to homeschooling, and I needed to quit my job and stay with my daughter," says Elena, mother of Ulyana (15) who has cerebral palsy and severe visual impairment.  Ulyana studies in the 7th grade in an integrated class at a general education school. Until recently, the girl couldn't sit on…, Study together, "Ulyana is looking forward to the lessons. She knows the timetable by heart. Sometimes I forget and ask her: 'Ulyana, what lesson do we have now?' She responds right away," says Inna, a special needs teacher, as we look around the classroom at school No.1 in Berezovka, where the classes take place. Ulyana is at a school summer camp now, but during…, Lonely lessons, We started talking about homeschooling and Elena became gloomy. Six months ago, the question of leaving school was seriously discussed. The chair and the desk at school did not suit the girl. The desk was not adjustable and the girl couldn't have the textbook at eye level. And the chair did not hold Ulyana properly – she was slipping off it.…, What is the problem?, In Belarus, about 186,000 children have a disability or psychophysical developmental disorders. Every tenth such child does not go to school. The reason is both physical barriers (only one school out of ten provides a barrier-free environment) and the society's attitude towards children with disabilities. Our task as adults is to create learning…, How you can help, To support other children like Ulyana, you can take part in the Move4Good inclusive sports project and make a donation. The Move4Good charity project will begin in July with some online activities – there will be training sessions for adults and children, including famous athletes and popular bloggers. And it will end with the Children's Run at…
05 May 2022

"Here is my story – you are not the only one"

In the beginning Tanya's future didn't look very promising. In the maternity hospital, the girl's heart stopped and Ekaterina, her mother, had an emergency cesarean. Tanya was being resuscitated for a long time, and then artificial lung ventilation was being applied. Doctors told Ekaterina that the girl had Down syndrome, and they recommended that…, "Parents themselves often do not know how to behave with a child with the syndrome", When Tanya was 2.5 months old, we went to an Early Intervention Center in Minsk. It was the first time there that I heard: "Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!" It gave me goosebumps. It was the first time I realized I was a mother. Now, when mothers of children with the syndrome turn to me, I first of all congratulate them on the birth…, Here is my story, Tanya was born when I was still very young – 20 years old. It was a planned pregnancy. Both my husband and I were prepared for it: we did all the tests, took vitamins, etc. All ultrasound check-ups were perfect. I learned about the syndrome only after Tanya was born. I stayed in hospital for pregnancy complications and suddenly Tanya's heart…, "Who else can do it, but you?", I did not plan to lead the Down Syndrome. Inclusion. organization. I did not see myself either as a leader or as an advocate for someone's interests, except for my child's. I was absorbed by Tanya. My whole life revolved around my daughter and the topic of the syndrome. But both the parents and the specialists whom I spoke with said: "Ekaterina,…, What we managed to achieve, We have achieved a lot in 5 years. About 15 children found their families. They were initially abandoned in maternity hospitals by their biological parents. We worked closely with maternity hospitals, foster homes, and with these parents – and the families took the children back. For me, as a mother, it is the biggest victory. In addition,…
14 February 2022

"We will teach you how to teach him"

"It was the most difficult time in my life," Elena recalls the first months after the birth of her son. Nazar was born with Down syndrome, and it was a shock for his parents as examinations during pregnancy didn't show anything. "My husband and I even thought of abandoning the child. We went to foster homes to see what the conditions for children…, "Will never walk", Despite the fears of his parents, Nazar quickly started crawling and then walking. The family went to the EIC once a week. First, there were classes with a pediatrician, a little later - with a speech therapist. "The pediatrician held classes related to motor skills, taught Nazar to sit, walk, crawl. They even had to teach him to go down the slide…, "He will never talk", Nazar started talking when he was 2 years old. He knew about 15 words: mom, dad, aunt, uncle, and more. "After the diagnostics at the EIC the staff told me: 'Look, he is almost turning over. Don't worry, he will learn everything, and we will help him.' I was happy to hear it as before the visit I read a whole bunch of nasty things on the Internet…, "The society will not accept him", Elena is honest about the kindergarten and that the staff were reluctant to take Nazar. First, Nazar went to the nursery group and there were no children with special needs. A year later, he was moved to the integrated group. "I didn’t get many complaints about him. He fell asleep on his own, ate on his own. But he couldn't get dressed, he needed…, About superheroes, Nazar has a long thin stick in his hand. "It's a web! And I'm Spider-Man!" Elena explains that now Nazar loves everything related to Spider-Man: songs, cartoons, games. "It is the biggest surprise for me and the biggest joy: he has interests, his personality is developing. Take his favorite cartoons and books. He used to like "Paw Patrol", but now…, Information, Every 700th child in Belarus is born with an extra chromosome. Parents are very frightened, experiencing shock and unwillingness to believe in the diagnosis. This is a natural reaction when they don't have enough information. To help parents and children with Down syndrome or other children with or at risk of developmental delay, under the…