Spotlight on Autism Nepal – Filming with Cara Online
As one half of Cara Online, I have undertaken filming projects all around the world. One series particularly close to my own heart has been Autism Around the World. Having worked for many years with children with autism, I was interested to see how autism is dealt with in various countries, including the interventions available, the organisations providing support, and the surrounding beliefs. I’m proud to present our first film in the series: Spotlight on Autism Nepal.
During our time in Nepal, it was our great pleasure to work with AutismCare. This organisation is offering incredible support to children with autism and their families, in a country with a distressing lack of awareness on the topic.
Autismcare showed us the range of therapies and interventions they employ, including music therapy, occupational therapy, art therapy, and Applied Behaviour Analysis. They even offer vocational training for their older pupils. Their parent training programme, whereby, over the course of several weeks, parents learn to engage, teach, and communicate with their children, was particularly impressive.
Of course, the organisation faces many challenges. With a very limited number of places for full-time pupils, many children and their families are left without ongoing help when their time at the centre comes to an end. The government offers little support, with few opportunities to train new staff without the need to travel to neighbouring India.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is dealing with the public in a country where the word “autism” is still largely unknown. Some parents we interviewed told us that people they encounter believe them to be bad parents, with undisciplined children. Even their family members believe they simply need to spend more time at the temple, in order to “cure” their child.