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Opposition Calls on City Hall to Improve Programs for Autistic Kids

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, February 15
Non-Parliamentary opposition European Georgia party called on Tbilisi City Hall to improve rehabilitation program for children with autistic spectrum.

According to the party, the main challenge is that there are too many children with autistic spectrum waiting for their turn to be included in the City Hall program.

“At present, there are about 120 children unable to enjoy rehabilitation in the centers or if allowed, the parents will have to pay the cost of the treatment,” the European Georgia stated.

The party presented their plan at the City Hall session, adding it would solve the existing problem. The party says 120 children, who are in the waiting list, should be added to the program and the City Hall of Tbilisi should cover all expenses. For this purpose, the budget of 2018 program should be increased by 815,100 GEL.

After the session, member of the European Georgia Davit Zhgenti told reporters that the agreement was reached with the Mayor’s Office.

“We presented our plan and it was approved at the session. The City Hall representatives promised us that next week Deputy Mayor and Head of City Service will come to City Council and we will jointly discuss the mentioned program,” he stated.

Zhgenti added they will carry out a joint monitoring and strict control to ensure that all the autistic children receive proper rehabilitation and all the expenses are covered by the Mayor’s Office.

Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Sophio Khuntsaria explained that the main problem is not in the financing, but not enough places in the rehabilitation centers. She said collaboration is necessary to solve the problem.

She added that since 2015, the state financing of the autistic children treatment has increased seven times and the total number of beneficiaries is 787.

“One of the main problems is also the increased number of beneficiaries from the regions, where the centers for autistic children do not exist. Next week we will start working in constructive regime and along with the opposition we will discuss these issues,” Deputy Mayor stated.