Poland's largest meeting of families of children with autism and other neurodisabilities - the 3rd Silesian Family Picnic organized by the Gliwice-based Parents' Club of the JiM Foundation - took place in Gliwice on September 3. Honorary patronage of the event was assumed by the spouse of the President of the Republic of Poland, Agata Kornhauser - Duda.
The picnic was held at the Recreation Center "Czechowice" in Gliwice. This is primarily an idea for integration, spending time together families of children with autism from all over the country, but also an excellent opportunity to consult with specialists in psychology, pedagogy, oligophrenopedagogy and even educational law, who took part in the picnic. In addition, there were joint Zumba workouts performed by instructors from Jatomi, dance lessons, a demonstration of first pre-medical aid, with the support of the Municipal Police, there was also a mini traffic town, where you could learn the rules of the road. The picnic was also supported by the Gliwice Military Unit "Agat" named after Major General Stefan Rowecki "GROT", which lent equipment - tables, tents, etc. Attractions and art games of animation for children were provided by the Youth Cultural Center from Gliwice. The fun was crowned by a joint bonfire.
- Parents meet regularly," says Malgorzata Lesnik, coordinator of the JiM Club in Gliwice and organizer of the picnic. - We support each other, talk, exchange information. We do everything so that our children live like others, that is, develop, become more and more independent and, despite arduous therapy and rehabilitation, have as much joy and fun as possible.
In addition to Mrs. President Agata Kornhauser-Duda, the Gliwice JiM Parents Club invited Marek Michalak, Ombudsman for Children, and Zygmunt Franckiewicz, Mayor of Gliwice, to the event.
The number of JiM clubs in Poland is increasing every year, because integration of parents of children with autism is very important. JiM's recently announced first report in Poland, "Child with autism - access to diagnosis, therapy and education in Poland," does not leave a dry thread on the domestic support system for parents for children with autism. Family doctors are failing to recognize the signs of autism. Teachers call in schools because autistic children are, in their opinion, "naughty." There is a shortage of child psychiatrists - there are a mere 333 in Poland. 7 out of 10 parents of children with autism quit their jobs to care for their child. It takes as long as 2.5 years from the first visit to the doctor
to the start of therapy. Only 46% are diagnosed before the age of 3 - and early diagnosis is key here. That's why parents band together to support each other. There are 22 clubs in all, working in different parts of Poland. As many as 3,000 people are socially active in the clubs.
If you would also like to join the JiM Club, or know parents who would like to do so
go in and register at www.jim.org/KlubRodzicow .