World Autism Awareness Day Marked

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 3, 2018 – Balloons carrying the slogan “Autism 12,000”, which is the number of people estimated to be suffering from autism in Croatia, were released on Tuesday in Zagreb’s downtown Cvjetni Square to mark World Autism Awareness Day, with civil society organisations stating that they no longer wish to do the state’s work.

“We want to send a clear message to the government that we’ve had enough balloon releases and promises and that we want systematic solutions for autistic people and access to services – from diagnostic services and health care, early intervention and appropriate education across the country to life-long care for autistic adults,” the president of the Alliance of Associations for Autism, Lidija Penko, said.

The Alliance is waiting for diagnostic centres in the four largest cities in the country – Rijeka, Split, Zagreb and Osijek – where works have begun on a centre but they are progressing slowly.

“A lot needs to be done for a systematic solution and we call on the three relevant ministries – education, health and social welfare, to sit down and start functioning like three associated companies that provide services, because poor cooperation and the issue of jurisdiction of each individual ministry over certain institutions have been obstructing the provision of services,” Penko said.

The Alliance of Associations for Autism brings together 13 associations and has been marking World Autism Awareness Day for 11 years.

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day marked on 2 April every year, and it encourages UN member states to take measures to raise awareness of people with autism throughout the world.


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