Parents +: " Ivan who rides for health"

Parents +:

Ivan is a handsome and agile child- 5 years old. He is so agile that he does not stop in one place - literally. Most parents of five-year-old boys would probably say something similar about  their child. The difference with Ivan is that his agility is in excess, but at the expense of concentration and communication with others. In short, Ivan is one of the many children in the world who live with autism.

Given his special condition, Ivan is not able to go to kindergarten with his peers. That is why his father, Chavdar, gave up his job in Italy, thanks to which the family survived, coming back to take care of the child all the time. Now Ivan's mother, Irena, is the only one in the family who has a relatively stable income - she works in a grocery store.

"I dream of Ivan getting better, being able to play with the children, going to school," Chavdar shared. "My work abroad gave us the opportunity for a better livelihood, but now the most important thing is to do everything possible for Ivan to recover - we are on therapy every day. It's difficult, it's very difficult.", he added.

Ivan's parents cannot count on the help of their grandparents, who are retired and due to their advanced age can only provide moral support. In the beginning, when no one was yet fully aware of what was going on with little Ivan, his grandparents helped raise him during the day. But over time, after being diagnosed with autism, treatment involves increasingly active activities that they fail to cope with. According to the doctors, the best results from the therapy they prescribe are obtained when his father engages him in various activities every day - he takes him to the nearby towns for procedures. Ivan still has no decision from the Territorial Expert Medical Commission ( “TELK”), but with the help of the foster parents from NFCA, the procedure has already started.

One of the activities that the doctors prescribe to Ivan and according to them promises to give the best effect, is horse therapy. However, in the town where the family lives, there is no such possibility, and the fees at the nearest horse base, 50 km away from their home, are unaffordable for the family, which lives only on the mother's salary. The social workers from NFCA, who work on the A1-funded "Parents+" program, estimate that it will be most valuable to help Ivan's family by paying fees for 10 sessions of Ivan's equestrian therapy. The "Parents+" initiative helps economically vulnerable families in difficult times, which could discourage them and lead to separation from their children. By mid-2020, “A1” and NAPG had supported 81 vulnerable children in the country.

Ivan is a very handsome and agile five-year-old boy. He rides for health. And everyone around him enjoys his every sign of improvement, even the slightest ones.

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