Andra Levite
Andra Levite

Honourable Madam Ambassador, dear members of Autism Society of Latvia, ladies and gentlemen,

I am truly pleased and delighted to have been invited to the launch of the ‘Say goodbye to impediments’ today.

Awareness about potential neuropsychiatric disorders in children and youth is a reality today. Those include autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorder ADD, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder ADHD or Tourette’s syndrome.

However, not so long ago, some 50-60 years ago, people considered these children odd, emotionless, retarded or simply badly behaved.

What science has learned and what we know today is that  neuropsychiatric spectrum disorders are mostly caused by polyetiological heterogenous, genetic, biochemical and other factors that are yet to be fully researched.

And, again, not so long ago strange behaviour of children was attributed to emotional coldness of mothers, harsh upbringing or lack of nurturing required to enable a child to develop properly.

Scientific research, and also dedication of scientists, modern medical devices and approaches have become more sophisticated over time, giving us a better understanding of factors that may cause these impediments. People’s attitude towards children with neuropsychiatric disorders should also change and become more emphatic.

People’s reservations, uncomfortable and often dismissive attitude is caused by  lack of awareness about these disorders or even fear of not knowing how to react and help these children.

Nordic countries should be a global role model for how to treat these children in an inclusive manner. If we were to achieve the same outcomes, we must make sure no one is left behind and feels neglected.

No one. Neither with nor without special needs. And, let us be honest, we all have special needs of some sort.

Therefore, this translated guide is the right tool, which comes at a right time. Written in a very comprehendible manner and coupled with nice images, it gives us a precise specialist guide on how to treat neuropsychiatric disorders and children and adolescents exhibiting different behavioural traits.

It also offers evidence-based, holistic approaches for giving these children and youths the most appropriate support in everyday life.

This book is a useful tool for education professionals and gives parents, grandparents, relatives and friends a useful advice on how to take care of their little and young ones with special needs.

It takes a whole village to raise any child into adolescence. A village of child’s parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and also teachers, coaches and music teachers.

Children with neuropsychiatric disorders need the support of loving and caring villagers, which in their case also include doctors, physiotherapists, behavioural therapists and other medical professionals.

Latvia has these learned professionals who can offer competent support and advice to the families raising children with special needs. Specialists who are, however, also concerned about long waiting times that children go through before they get diagnosed properly and receive the right treatment. Let us support these professionals.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, I highly advise you to get acquainted with this wonderful book that will give answers to worrying questions and instruct how to offer friendly hand to children and their parents.

Thank you to everyone who has helped put this launch together. I wish you all a very cordial Christmas!