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Zugdidi Parents Claim Autistic Daughter Not Allowed to Participate in New Year Event

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 29
(ZUGDIDI, Georgia)--A parent of a four-year-old girl wrote a post on Facebook this week, accusing the teachers and the director of Number 15 kindergarten in west Zugdidi region of not allowing her autistic daughter to participate or attend a New Year event.

The post has caused a large-scale outcry, with hundreds of shares in a short period of time.

“I am frustrated and totally collapsed today as a mother…My four-year-old autistic daughter has become a victim of unqualified, immoral and short-sighted, so-called professionals,” the mother of a four-year-old wrote on her facebook page.

“My kid was deprived of the right to have fun and spend happy time with her friends at the New Year event in the kindergarten. The kindergarten staff even closed a door for her and dressed in a festive dress my daughter had to watch the whole event from the door hole,” the post read.

The woman said that she wanted to take her daughter out of the door but the child wished to stay and watch.

“The teachers were looking at the situation emotionlessly,” the mother stated.

Head of the kindergarten Eliso Kalichava refrained from giving a direct comment over the issue. She just told the local media that the case was being studied.

She said that the kindergarten offered a special class for autistic children and she had no information over the concrete case for now.

Inclusive education remains a problem in Georgia, and many children with various disabilities are left without the fundamental right to receive education or be fully involved in the pre-school, school or high education activities, Georgia’s former Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili stated in his this year’s statement.

Nanuashvili said that the inconsistent approach towards the specific needs of the children with autism, as well as the imperfect legislative framework of inclusive education, encourages discrimination against children with disabilities.