Everyone deserves a home and support
Our homes and families are the place wherewe feel most comfortable, where we feel safe and protected of anything bad thatmight happen. Our family is there to protect us and take care of us, we arethere for each other, always, as support. But what if your family cannot offer you all the things you need? Whatif your reality is completely different than anyone else’s? What if no oneunderstands your thoughts and who you are? Is then home … still the safe spaceyou need to grow and develop?
In the past articleswe talked about how complex the life of a person in the autism spectre disorder(ASD) is and how difficult it can be for a parent or caretaker to handlecertain situations especially if they do not have the knowledge or theexpertise needed. The people with advanced ASD are completely co-dependent ofthe person that takes care of them and any sudden change in their daily routines can be very traumatic. Even so, manyfamilies in Romania are taking care of their children or relatives and try tocreate the best circumstances they can. Our past article shared some of these struggles but also the learnings and beautifulways to enjoy the little things in life despite these challenges.
What does this mean financially for adults in Brasov, Romania?
It takes about 115 euro a month to coverall the therapy costs for someone that is affected by ASD, thisleads to 1,380 euro a year to be able to pay for all the treatmentand care costs. Which is a large amount when the minimum salary is 400 euro a month. For the 9 young adults supported by the “Copii de cristal” foundation this means around 12,400 euro a year.
In the last 10 years thefoundations has helped them with treatment and support to enjoy ahappy and peaceful life. Now the foundation is trying to go one step further toimprove the livelihoods of these youngsters they have in their care by building a residential center.
What about a residential center?
In the last decades studieshave shown that educative intervention is considered the best tool of developmentfor people with ASD. Therapists have used applied behaviour analysis(ABA) to help children with autism and related developmental disorders sincethe 1960s. They have helped many kinds of learners gain different skills – fromhealthier lifestyles to learning a new language.
The aim of the residential centeris tooffer to the young adults the care they need and to create a safe spacewhere they can learn and be themselves. The “Copii de cristal” associations would like tobuild a residential center where the residents would have their owndormitory and 24/7 professional assistance, as well as access to ABAtherapy. The center will have a small garden f as well housepets (cats, dogs) to take care of. The long term plan would be totransform the residential center in a residential farm, including bedand breakfast services for guests.
Once the building and the surroundingsare built the Romanian government will be supporting the expenses forrunning the place and for the personnel needed to maintainthe center. At the moment the foundation and outside walls were buildbased on funds raised (approx. 60,000 euro). To finalise the building anadditional amount of 150,000 euro is necessary.
What if we could build a place where theadults from “Copii de cristal” foundation could live happily andbe cared for? What if we would give them the chance to find their way totheir hearts, to find peace and happiness in a place that is designed andcreated especially for them. You can contribute to creating a betterlife for the young adults with the ASD and building them a home by supportingthem through a scholarship of 300 euro a year and/or donating money to supportthe finalizations of the residential center. It would take approximately40 people to support their care and education for an entire year. During our event Romania Express(ed) which will take place in Amsterdam on 11th ofNovember, we will talk more about this topic. If we all lend ahand we could help them have a better life and build a place that they can callhome.
Parental experiences: the inclusion ofchildren with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream education in Romania: https://dspace.cuni.cz/handle/20.500.11956/79109
Applied Behaviour Analysis: https://www.autismspeaks.org/applied-behavior-analysis-aba-0