Photo: MTI

Centre for autistic people opens in Budapest

A complex of a model home and education centre for autistic people and their families opened in Budapest's 13th district on Tuesday.

Aniko Nagy, director of the National Heim Pal Paediatric Institute, welcomed the inauguration of the new facility. She said the model home aimed to provide an “ideal space” for families with an autistic member. The conference area of the facility will offer training courses for parents as well as conferences for experts in the field, she added.

Szilvia Szijjarto-Nagy, the head of the Together for Autistic People Foundation, said her foundation had collected donations for several years to build an Autistic Model House, which opened in the spring of last year, and the new complex. She said autism affected one in 15 Hungarian families, adding that “a multitude of people around us are struggling to support an autistic family member, meeting their special needs in everyday situations.” The foundation also aims to educate society about autism, she added.

Istvan Szeleczki, a senior therapist at the Autistic Model House Diagnostic and Therapy Centre, said the model home was designed to “present an ideal environment in which tension and anxiety could be reduced so that both children and parents have a relaxed time.” The new facility offers families an opportunity to teach autistic children how to use everyday appliances in their home. Families applying for a course will move into the facility for a week, and receive counselling by experts, he added.

Since the Autistic Model House was opened in 2002, it has received over 1,400 requests for a diagnosis and has offered treatment to nearly 900 autistic children. Currently, 70 children are provided a complex therapy.

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