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Monday, June 24, 2024

Exploring the Thick Deaf Wall

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Thick Deaf Wall

“One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge.” (Helena Blavatsky)

The story portrays the life of an immigrant who, driven by a genuine passion for helping autistic children to gain self-reliance, encounters a series of challenges throughout the journey: meeting callousness and inhumanity as a response to giving and trust. However, despite surviving real-estate scams, betrayals,  homelessness, and a lack of any support, the protagonist’s unwavering determination to make a difference in the lives of disabled children continues to fuel the aspirations, while dealing with an environment that could be defined as “Thick Deaf Wall”. Using that story we’ll like to study and understand That Wall and then try making some judgment

1. ( A Flicker of Hope)

“I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.” 

― Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Following the dissolution of the USSR, she immigrated to the USA. Working as a direct care worker with a special population, an experience as an ex-child photographer inspired her to introduce photography as a therapeutic tool for autistic children. She developed the innovative “Thematic PhotoBooks system” or Phototherapy, seeking to positively impact the lives of these children. However, lack of necessary official education prevented her from implementing the invention to benefit the kids.

Seeking collaboration with professionals in official recognition of the TPB system, she published an article in a prestigious USA academic journal and made an effort to publish a book. Unfortunately, her trust was shattered when professionals exploited the ideas behind her back. Undeterred, she published an article in a Russian journal and authored a book. However, the literary work was stolen by an unscrupulous Moscow publishing company Liteo, further intensifying the struggle.

2. A New Chapter Begins in the Balkans:

“People recognize only those who are useful to them. Goethe

In 2017, she retired and moved to a Balkan country, driven by the desire to further develop her ideas and assist autistic children and their families voluntarily. Working in a local school, she witnessed the children’s desire to progress. At the same time numerous challenges on parents’ side in restraining the progress needed to be addressed. She was determined to bring about change and developed the  “Road to Freedom from Dependency” Project, sharing it with the school community and inviting parents to participate. As a result, their class was closed  Later parents, in collaboration with the Red Cross, established their own NGO using the protagonist’s ideas behind her back. Stripped of their residence permit, she was forced to move to another country.

3. Held A Shattered Dream:

“The voice of truth is not graceful, and graceful speech is false. A moral person is not eloquent, but an eloquent liar” (Lao Tzu)

Arriving in a new country, she held onto the vision. In the pursuit of realizing the ideas, she encountered a real-estate agent Alvaro, who, empathetic to the challenges faced by autistic children and her ideas, offered his own involvement support. The agent, also a lawyer, inspired her not only with his own support, but he engaged local specialists, who promised their real collaboration.  He proposed the idea of purchasing an affordable house. Enthusiastic about the opportunity, she let her guard down, unaware of the impending deception. She was cunningly sold a defective house, an illegal garage, and land, which later was expropriated by the government project without any documentation, leaving her financially and morally devastated and homeless for two years

4. Dealing with Thick Deaf Wall:

“The strength of character is not in the ability to break through walls, but in the ability to find doors” (Voltaire)

As the agent flourished, opening their own business, and the seller’s family relocated to the capital, she found herself without any support in her time of need. When she reached out to the seller’s family, educated and creative individuals, they responded with indifference, explaining their action “It is just a business”.  The US embassy offered no assistance beyond reference to local lawyers. The local media turned a blind eye to that situation. Appeals to different local and capital government organizations, to the local Mayor, the Ministry of Justice, and Advocates for People did not bring any results, except for a pile of useless papers.

Also, she applied to organizations, serving special children with suggestions to use her place for them. All her initiatives met the This Deaf Wall. Informing the Prosecutor about criminal activity in property agreement documentation did not bring any result as well. The Office of the Prime Minister did not bring any clarity, but added more confusion, sending a message of lacking any serious attitude  to the ordinary person’s troubles from the government side

5. The Indomitable Spirit:

“In non-human conditions, only those who aspire to the future, who dream of achieving their destiny, are able to survive.” (principles of survival in non-human conditions)

No one door got open for our heroine. Amidst the darkness of such an attitude, she created her own Door to feel hope and positive energy, starting to create a New Project for autistic children. It gave the support to go through living hell: constant  noise, dust, and lack of water in the middle of summer

Surviving on their own inspiration, she did the work, bringing light into the darkness of real life. The project grew into a website to share true stories with the hope of a better future for everyone.

The story was complicated and needed some clarification, so we asked the heroine to answer our questions

Section 1:

Q1. What is the “Thematic PhotoBooks system” or Phototherapy, and how does it aim to positively impact the lives of autistic children?

This is explained on my website in published articles and professional opinions. 

Q2. Why was the lack of necessary official education a barrier to implementing the TPB system officially?

The practice of phototherapy requires a master’s degree or higher. In addition, any method must be officially approved, which is the result of a scientific study.

Q3. How did professionals exploit the ideas behind your back?

Psychologist Henry Reid called for writing an article, contributing to the development of mankind. Being a man of great status and connections, he promised to give life to the method, but the main contribution was made in his pocket, and that was it.

Co-writing the book with a professional writer from Arizona ended up with her starting research on her own and refusing to co-author. The book was only published 13 years later by a friend of mine who posted it on Amazon.  The last chapters contain her research work. The next attempt was to seek help from an old autism expert friend, Jeannie  Angus at Brooklyn College. Same story – research attempts behind my back. Professionals don’t Collaborate with amateurs

Section 2:

Q1. How did you communicate the project to the school community and invite parents to participate?

Volunteering with children and their parents, seeing the habit of parents doing things for children and hearing complaints about the inability to work because of these children, I invited parents to join my NGO, where I would teach them to become Professional Parents. They will work to develop their own and others’ children, being paid by the government as work. When I shared this idea at school, our class was closed. Parents offered to work in the Red Cross.

Q2. What circumstances led to the fact that you were deprived of her residence permit?

The director of the Red Cross promised to promote the project among parents, and made me write an application for the grant, but instead, the parents I worked with created their own NGO using my ideas, but an NGO of different nature. They refused to include me there. My NGO was the basis for obtaining the permit, but since there was no financial activity there and volunteer work was not considered, there was a problem with the documents. This issue could have been resolved, but the local police went the other way.

Q3. Why were you forced to move to another country and how did this affect your work and aspirations?

The pandemic has begun. They refused to renew the permit even for 6 months, demanding a document that was impossible to get. I ended up in Albania with nothing, because I came there only to extend my residence permit. I decided not to return back. Albania was a suitable place to live with my documents, I met good people and it opened up new opportunities. During pandemic, I worked on writing a book

Section 3:

Q1. Who is real estate agent Alvaro and how did he contact you?

Alvaro was an agent for the estate agency EstateAll in Vlore, where I shared my intentions for finding a place. He pitched the idea of buying a house away from the crowded tourist spots with a garage that could be used for work and a plot of land.

Q2. What problems faced by autistic children did Alvaro sympathize with, and how did he offer his support?

I shared with him the problem of developing autistic children and the need for self-reliance. He introduced me to his friend, a speech therapist, who decided to cooperate with my project. We spoke to a special education teacher who worked with parents. We met two directors of homes for orphans. He was explaining my Project to these people. He seemed sincere. All experts promised their support in different ways. I invited Alvaro to be the boss. He liked the idea and even thought of future employees: “Christy, a physiotherapist for special children, is ready to work with us.” Alvaro could open any door. How not to get carried away by such a prospect?

Q3. What were the specific issues with the house, illegal garage, and land that was sold?

The house is located on a former swamp, the foundation was done wrong-too low: water from the ground comes to the house. Alvaro said the roof was OK, but it was leaking badly. I did ask the agency for an expert to check the house, but Alvaro as a lawyer convinced everything would be done properly, meanwhile destructing my attention to a different direction.

The Government demolished the garage,  which we planned as a working place. The garage had no documents. Later Alvaro said I did not buy a garage at all. It was not even there. They cut off a lot of the land, which I planned for kids’ physical activity and learning fruits and vegetables from nature. 

Section 4:

Q1. What was the outcome of informing the Prosecutor about the criminal activity in the property agreement documentation?

The local prosecutor ignored the case. The prosecutor in Tirana ordered the prosecutor of Vlora to handle the case. It was ignored anyway. I wrote to Tirana again. Ignored this time

Q2. How did the Office of the Prime Minister contribute to the confusion, and what message did they send regarding the government’s attitude towards ordinary people’s troubles?

I wanted to see the Prime-minister as everybody said he is the only one who solves issues in the country. Instead, his assistant talked to me,  promising to contact 3 different organizations and find out about my situation.  I was waiting for the result, staying in the hostel, and realized I was cheated. She did nothing and told security not to let me in anymore.

I wrote to the government platform. They responded with information from the Municipality that the project did not start yet…..It was finished last summer.

Q3. What type of support did the protagonist seek from the seller’s family, and why did they respond with “It is just a business”?

Alvaro gave me a fake reason for the seller selling the house, so I thought maybe he told them a lie about me as well. I hoped that maybe knowing the truth, they would feel sorry and try to do something. They explained paying Alvaro big money for that deal, for them, it’s just a business. I should go to Alvaro for help. 

Section 5:

Q1. How did you create your door in the face of the lack of support and negative attitudes you faced?

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is limitless.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I started working on a new site and mentally moved to another “environment”, to the beautiful moments of the past for creating something new and positive. These children live in their own universes, and I have watched them being happy and content there. So I opened that door.

Q2. What was the New Project that you started for autistic children, and how did it provide support for you during difficult circumstances?

Nobody really supported my ideas in the real world, only used them for their own needs, so I moved to the virtual world, working on a new Project  ‘Autism as another way of being.” http://autismtpb.tilda.ws/.

Q3. How did the project turn into a website and what is its purpose – to share real stories with hope for a better future?

The project is created from pieces of life moments. They should come together as a single picture, like in a puzzle. Stories are those little pieces in which people could see themselves. An attitude towards these children, different deeds. I tried to be as truthful as possible. Maybe the children are right in preferring their own universe to such a real world. And changes should come from both ends

Conclusion

“The money you have gives you freedom; the money you pursue enslaves you” Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Opening every Door of that Wall in the hope to find a solution people reacted with money talk. Nobody was willing to hear that the heroine invested money hoping to fulfill her dream – to see the result of helping kids in the honest collaboration of adults for the sake of children. That part was not heard. Money and Fear of new things seem occupied the minds of people and other things cannot go through that Thick Deaf Wall

Still For Some Questions We Did Not Find The Answers!

  1. How to share the ideas in order to find cooperation WITHOUT being hurt or robbed
  2. How a person from the developed country can do something charitable in the undeveloped country without being robbed and cheated
  3. How to organize something for children NOT for profit, having freedom from  any strings attached

Maybe the readers know?

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