"My autistic son needs a socialization space"

There are stories in which we do not repair until a day when our faces hit us hard, when we hear them in another context. The jaruqueños know Luis Alberto Domínguez, the lawyer of the Municipal Directorate of Housing. We also know his family. The wife, and their two children, Danay, the young woman who wanted to be a nurse to take care of her brother Anders Luis, when the parents were not there ... Pochi, as they call him affectionately, is autistic. I met him one day at the Camilo Cienfuegos Special School, where he was until he came of age ... Then, as an adult, I saw him several times at home, in the care of his mother; or on the street, by the hand of the father or the sister. But I only noticed how his life was until I heard his father intervene, in the debate on the Constitutional Project carried out by the workers of the General Directorate of Infrastructure in Jaruco.


" I will not only speak for myself, but for all the parents who have this problem. Article 74 of the constitutional draft says: the State, society and families have the obligation to protect and assist people with some type of disability. The State guarantees the conditions required for its rehabilitation or the improvement of its quality of life. I would like to add to this article 74 the following: The State will ensure that young people with special needs, graduates of this education, have effective access to education, training, employment and healthy recreation through institutions created for this purpose, in order to achieve their social integration and individual, cultural and spiritual development. This approach is in line with article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Cuba is a signatory and which is bound to comply because the same Convention says that all signatory States have to enforce them. I mean, I'm not asking for anything contrary to law. What I am asking is that this right of children be given constitutional status and help us parents who are in this situation. "


His intervention started with the father's concern for a son who, after making a lot of progress during his school years, begins to show the consequences of not having spaces for socialization, designed for adults with their personal characteristics.


"I think the situation has gone hand in hand with respect to those boys who leave special education and who are currently confined to their homes. To be locked in four walls and not receive any attention, from the moment they leave school. "


The current legislation not only affects the autistic young man, but also his mother who can not grow professionally, contribute to society ...


"What is regulated in the current Magna Carta is that one of the parents ask to receive a pension to take care of them. The mother is taking care of him; she is almost always the one who assumes this, and receiving a basic salary. What it resolves is to give it the treatment they deserve; get them out of that confinement. Anders Luis, my son, is depressed because he does not resist being locked in the house. If you yourself, when you are not doing anything all day, you get bored, tell me those children who have nothing else to do, where to spend their energies. In Jaruco we had a workshop for people like my son Pochi and they closed it, without taking into account the problem of these children. Parents are which are suffering.


Luis Alberto Domínguez is aware that this is one of the changes that the Constitutional Project needs so that in our Revolution there will not be a legal vacuum that leaves families like him unprotected.


"One of the things that characterize the Revolution is humanism. Young people with autism spectrum syndrome can not belong to any organization. The ACLIFIN does not receive it because they must have a physical disability and they do not have a physical disability, but an intellectual one. There is no organization; there is no institution that takes care of the autistic, of young people with cognitive retardation who do not qualify for vocational school ".


Translated by Ada Iris Guerrero