The government needs to take more action to help people with autism as well as their families and not hide behind the decency of volunteers who do all the legwork which should be carried out by the state, Akel charged on Wednesday.
The party’s leader Andros Kyprianou was speaking after a visit at the Cyprus autistic association in Limassol.
“It is a pity that in many cases, families are left without any interest from the state.”
The government should step in and create a proper prognosis and diagnosis centre “so families and children before the age of two can be helped”.
Kyprianou congratulated the association for their work but said “the state should not hide behind charitable feelings and the social sensitivity of those leading these associations. It should show its own interest and support these efforts.”
Akel said it would exert effort to improve legislation through parliament.
Head of the association Maria Kleanthous said they had taken on a difficult project “which normally the state should have done”.
“It is a very difficult task that we cannot fully accomplish. Families with autistic children are on the rise…and a lot of money needed,” she said.
Across the country, the association helps 30 adults and around 100 youths under the age of 18, at a cost which tops €700,000 per year.
Several families go without help because the association cannot help, Kleantous said.
They building the association uses to house the adults is inappropriate and dangerous.
“We’re appealing to find a place so we can house the day centre for adults with the infrastructure we need,” which currently caters to 10 adults.