Alut autistic graffiti art project 311.
(photo credit: Alut)
Alut, the Israel Association for Autistic Children, called on the government to
develop a national program to support those suffering from neural development
disorder, given the growing evidence that the earlier it is diagnosed and
treated, the better the child and family can function.
On Monday, Alut
will hold its national fund-raising campaign, with tens of thousands of pupils
visiting homes to collect contributions. One out of 100 children is diagnosed
with the disorder, which involves impaired social interaction and communication
and restricted and repetitive behavior.
A window of opportunity exists in
early childhood during which intensive treatment can significantly advance the
child; if the opportunity is missed, he will not progress as much. Due to the
sharp increase in the number of diagnoses, specialized day-care centers,
hostels, kindergartens, leisure services and schools, and training of
professionals such as communications specialists and occupational therapists
must proceed, Alut said.
According to a recent survey by the Welfare and
Social Services Ministry, there is an urgent need for increased services and
professional training: At least 30 homes for adults with autism will be needed
by 2015. Not much later, 100 sheltered homes are needed. Just one home with
treatment and facilities for special needs costs around NIS 10
Anat Cassuto-Shefi, the director of the volunteers’-based
organization Alut, said, “the government can no longer say: ‘I didn’t know.’
With great frustration I stand opposite helpless parents who beg for
treatments. There is a great shortage of trained
Meanwhile, autistic artists and design students from the
Tiltan School of Design and Visual Communications in Haifa have produced a
“graffiti wall” at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on the subject of autism. The art
was chosen as a bridge between those who can easily communicate and those –
autism sufferers – who cannot.