Meet Hanan, founder of Autism’s Dunya
I myself am the mother of a child on the spectrum, and have
learned and endured the lack of information and care available
for my child first hand.
When my son was 2 years old I began to notice he was regressing in his development, he was no longer speaking to me before becoming completely non verbal. I knew something was wrong, so I reached out to the medical professionals.
While waiting for a formal response I spent months reading, researching, and exploring myself. I realized that in both my present community in Europe and the former community in Africa there was next to no targeted help, therapy, or training available for Autism. As a result, I reached out to global professional volunteers who have come to my home and spent time with me and my son and given me a global perspective on Autism offering me invaluable hands-on experience in therapy methods.
It was 20 long months dealing with medical professionals before my son was diagnosed with Autism. I have since learned those 20 precious months of silence and inaction were incredibly demaging, as he should have been receiving a much broader span of therapy during this time. One of the most penetrating statements in this entire process came at that very time, from the local Early Intervention Psychologist, who looked me in the face and said “why bother even diagnosing a child, as there is no specialized treatment available anyway…”
How I decided to start Autism’s Dunya
In many countries like Morocco, where adequate interventions are
scarce or even nonexistent, there are common and prevalent
misconceptions that run rampant, and can cause great harm.
In smaller towns we have learned of parents literally chaining their children in the home to keep them under control, as well as heavily overmedicating them into a sleep and drowsy state, and even being brought to an “Imam” to endure physical violence due to a genuine concern that they are possessed.
These equal parts frustrating and heart-breaking information lead me towards the creation of Autism’s Dunya, our young non-profit organization based in providing education and care towards local children here in Morocco.
I began reaching out to other parents who were experiencing the same issues that I have gone through, sharing what my family has learned ourselves, as well as what we have achieved with our son’s education and therapy from these international volunteers.
We received so much local and international attention and interest that it was obvious we needed to grow our offering from its current state as a pilot project.