Decision of the UN General Assembly and the second in April around the world celebrated World Autism Awareness Day. And in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in different ways, marked by that date.

Education of and rehabilitation

According to international data, the incidence of autism is increasing, and is more common in boys than in girls. In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are no official data on the number of children in the autistic spectrum. However, it is evident increase in the number of children with the developmental disorder. Department of education and upbringing of children Mjedenica is a public institution which implements the process of education and rehabilitation of children with disabilities.

Director of the Institute Mjedenica Selmir Hadzic said for Fena that the Institute has five divisions involving users (kindergarten, primary special school, extended stay, boarding school accommodation for primary school students and workshops for working adults occupation).

- This is the oldest institution in BiH for the education of children with intellectual disabilities, this year the Institute celebrates 70th birthday - he says. The Institute is working with children and adult users with different disabilities. Among the students and users of the Institute is a significant number of children and autistic spectrum. The main role of this institution is to provide adequate support system taking into account all the differences and specificities of each child.

- In terms of quality of work with children, and in comparison with other countries in the region and beyond, the Institute is realized good system. However, what is lacking, not only the institution but also many others, is the continued support of the system in terms of the introduction of permanent additional innovations and forms of support - witness Hadzic.

Thus, for example, an increasing number of children with disabilities, including children from the autistic spectrum who come to the Institute, requires intensive work in small groups or individual work, as well as constant supervision and help other people.

- In practice this means the need for a larger number of experts who will work with children, but also more spacious capacity and adequate didactic or other material. Simply put, institutions such as the Institute Mjedenica must have special treatment from the relevant ministries, which will act jointly in the fields of education, social protection and health treatment of this population. They must not take place situations that a child or an adult, because of the slowness or lack of action of the system does not get the support he needed - he points out.

As urgent need of children with disabilities and their families Hadzic stands providing professional and timely support from birth, and during the period of growing up, education and later a person's life.

- Early intervention as the most important intervention segment in the development of the child must be urgently provided to the system frame, and the growth and development of the child must follow secured conditions for pre-school and after school, as well as active involvement in society through the life and work in the local community - said .

In support of children with disabilities and their families in the Department Mjedenica, besides regular activities, organizes various events that the basic aim of raising public awareness of the needs and possibilities of this population.


- The most important messages we send are that children with disabilities do not need pity, but support and understanding and that can be a lot more than how society perceives them - he stressed.

On World Autism Awareness Day children, staff, parents and many friends of the Institute will jointly organize a walk. After laying flowers at a memorial erected killed children of Sarajevo, addressed will be to Bascarsija, where exactly in 12 hours (in front of Sebilj) let blue balloons into the air to support all people with autism in the world.

- We urge all BiH citizens to understand and respect the specificities of children with disabilities, and the relevant authorities to step up the responsibility for the overall system of support that children and adults - said Director of the Institute "Mjedenica" Selmir Hadzic.