Moscow concert in support of autistic children
City of the Sun, a foundation set up to help autistic children, arranged a concert at the Moscow International Concert Hall with the support of the federation council committee covering education and science, the national medical association and the Insiders, a media group,
Experts understand autism in different ways. 'I would not even call it an illness', said the director of the Moscow Scientific Research Institute into Emergency Children's Surgery and Traumatology.' It is a unique condition'.
The medical representative of the patients' rights defence association Dmitry Avazyan commented that German psychiatrists define autism as a psychological disorder. 'Such a definiton does not exist in Russian psychiatry since no-one is keeping count of the number of cases', he says. 'I am rather inclined to the view that an autistic person is someone with a psychopathological personality which is not schizophrenia in the pure sense of that term. They are extreme introverts, unsociable and wrapped up in themselves', he explained. The chair of Dobro which provides support to autistic children, Dr Sergei Morozov, noted that autism is a disorder that is clearly identified in the international disease classifier.
The wards of City of the Sun who were present at the concert received a gift from the organisers. Moscow rehabilitation school N530 was given certificates for the provision of a sensory room and a sensory integration room which are essential for enabling pupils to obtain qualified medical and educational help. The organisers of the event spoke about the film Privet Kinder (Welcome Children) devoted to the problem of autism. The director and screenwirter, Milena Fadeeva, was impelled to make the film by something she herself had experienced. She had known a boy well who suffered from autism and whose character was prototypical.
Representatives of Sun City said that Russia was short of specialists capable of working with autistic people, diagnostic and rehabilitation centres, and nurseries and schools. Even the statistics were lacking. Nevertheless, the foundation believed that autism was well suited to being treated given properly organised therapy.
Mr Aivazyan considers that the number of autistic people is set to increase given the development over the last twenty years of the mobile phone network and the Internet, meaning that people have become less capable of interacting socially in the real world and become engrossed in a virtual one.