Alisher* is a boy with autism, who struggles to interact well with his world, struggles with behaviour and attention and is not able to speak. Alisher’s mother has often felt shame and hopelessness when she goes with her child out into her community.
She is bombarded with questions like: ‘Why is your child behaving like that? Why can’t he sit still? Why doesn’t he speak?’. For this reason she finds it difficult to take her son out into public or participate in community events like weddings.
But in December Alisher and his mother were invited to a community event organised by Manbai Mehr to celebrate International Disability Day (3 December). This event took place in one of the local event venues and over 100 children and their parents were there. It was a special day, with beautifully decorated tables and festive food donated by local sponsors. Children with disabilities did performances, dances and poetry recitation. Two locally famous singers came to the event, which brought a celebratory atmosphere through their music, inviting everyone to participate in local communal dancing.
During the programme, Alisher ran around in the venue. As usual, he was not able to sit still for a long time, and this concerned the mother. She was wary of what people might say about her son ‘not behaving’. But one of the staff members of Manbai Mehr put her at ease: “This is the day for these children to dance and celebrate. Let him enjoy it!”. And he did!
Alisher was so happy to run around and be a part of all that was happening. When it was time to leave, Alisher’s mother was crying tears of gratitude:
“This is the first time I am leaving a community event without hearing criticism in my ears from those around me. Usually I hear questions and comments about my son’s bad behaviour, and that makes me not want to take him out anymore. But today both I and my son had a good time!”
Providing an atmosphere of caring acceptance has helped this mother to receive new hope for her child!