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A famous Macedonian artist, painter, graphic designer and art designer, Zoran Kardula could not make a better gift for his autistic daughter Erato Kardula (11). He used 47 words his daughter is saying, and he made a book out of them.
Since those worlds are understandable only to little Erata, her father Zoran and the mother Dominika, the artist translated them to 19 languages, and her words are published in the book which he decorated with 47 illustrations created by 33 creative people.
The book's name is "Gus i Bac". That is an abbreviation for Macedonian worlds "Gusni" (Hug) and "Baci" (kiss), and it was promoted last night in Skopje marking the December 3rd, the international day of people with disabilities.
Zoran Kardula compiled a book "Gus i Bac" to raise awareness of autism and the integration of people and children with these conditions into society.
- Erato is not very verbal. There are words she can say, but there those which are only hers. She says the words easily when she divides them into syllables and which are always the same and have the same purpose. I wish for a moment when we can talk to her, but she should then enter our world and I am sure that it is not happier from hers - said Dominika Kardula, the mother of Erato.
She explains that for them, as parents, starting the regular elementary school was more stressful than learning that she has autism. Although the entire educational system is for inclusion (the right of all children for education) the person with special educational needs is something entirely different in practice, and family Kardula faced precisely that.
- It turned out that there is nothing similar to inclusion in school. During one year, they did nothing to provide the adequate help. As much as there was the desire from the teachers and personnel side, they failed to do it - said Dominika Kardula.
She adds that children quickly accepted Erato, but not some parents who didn't want their child to study with someone who has autism because they thought it will disturb the entire class.
Precisely because of these problems, the father of little Erato, Zoran Kadrula, compiled a book "Gus i Bac" to raise the awareness about autism at least a little bit.
Erato's words are the sound of her inner world. They sounded curious to me, optimistic, warm... Erato said "bibivi", and we say "bombone" (candy). Erato says "sita", and we say "cedevita" (juice). She says "kapi", and we say "pukanke" (popcorn)... Perhaps Erato is bringing "our" words into her world, turns them into her language which is more pleasant to her, more appropriate, has a better sound, considers philologist Vesna Kostovska.
Journalist and publicist Branko Trickovski said that Zoran Kardula managed to get rid of the bluff and conceit of himself as an artist.
- He and his work are pure excellence, an expression that is above the conventional notion of freedom, the other orbit of our understanding of ourselves. Erato is a candy that destroys the monopoly of our mental mathematics. Together with books, exhibits, paintings, graphics, and the philosophy of life, it could be a new religion - Kardulism, Trickovski said.
The book "Gus i Bac" was sold during the promotion, illustrations, cards, and badges, and all the money will be used with defectologist and a speech therapist for those children with autism whose parents do not have enough funds for this.
(Telegraf.co.uk / D.J.)