The fight to allow Liviu to attend kindergarten

When Liviu was a baby he was very agitated.  At a very early age, his parents noticed that he wasn’t starting to babble like other babies.  As a toddler, he didn’t respond to his own name and seemed to be in his own little world.  He would often have melt-downs.  After some time, Liviu was diagnised with autism, a diagnosis which scared his mother.

picture of Liviu working on an activity

Now Liviu is nearly five and he has been attending The Wish centre for a year.  He has benefitted from speech therapy, occupational therapy, a psychologist and ABA therapy.  At first he found it difficult to join in, but little by little he became comfortable with the staff.  He stopped crying and started to be interested in the activities and to react to his name.

When Liviu’s mother found The Wish, she was delighted by the prospect that she would have help in teaching Liviu some life skills.  They explained what they could offer, but also suggested that she try to integrate him into the local kindergarten.  One day she called The Wish with a scared voice, indignant that the director of the local kindergarten had refused to accept Liviu because none of the staff would agree to take responsibility for him.  They felt that he would be a danger to the other children.  The Wish explained to her that Liviu has a right to be integrated and to receive an education.  Following these discussions, she managed to persuade  the kindergarten to accept her son, but only if she accompanied him to kindergarten.

When Liviu started at kindergarten in June, he would stay for an hour at the most.  He would cry and have frequent melt-downs.  However, like at The Wish, he gradually settled down and was soon able to stay for half a day.  At first the other children avoided him, but they also got used to him and started to accept him.  During this time staff at The Wish were delighted to see Liviu making progress.  He started to say syllables, perhaps the beginning of a word.  

At the end of November, Liviu stopped going to kindergarten for two months because he was receiving treatment that his doctor had diagnosed.  After he returned, he was excluded for a further two months because his behaviour had deteriorated again.  During that time, the kindergarten’s director changed.  The new director reasons that Liviu needs to spend more time at The Wish until such time that his behaviour doesn’t impact on the other children.  Although we are very happy to help Liviu, this set back is frustrating.  Here again is clear discrimination against a child with a disability.  So at the moment, Liviu is only able to attend our centre.  Staff at The Wish hope to restart discussions with the kindergarten, the family and a social worker to ensure that Liviu can be successfully reintegrated into the kindergarten, and can continue the progress he was making.

Donations to St Gregory’s Foundation help The Wish provide vital therapy for children with disabilities in the Călăraşi region of Moldova.