Children gave their drawings to the tennis players as a memento.
Astana continues to meet the star participants of the ATP 500 Astana Open tournament. In anticipation of their matches at the prestigious competition, tennis players set aside time for social events.
Children and parents visiting the Assyl Miras Autism Centre in the capital were among the first to meet sports stars. Similar centres for children with autism were opened by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation in 10 cities of Kazakhstan.
President of the Tennis Federation and founder of the Foundation Bulat Utemuratov showed the centre to world number one Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, 21-time Grand Slam champion Serbian Novak Djokovic, Canadian number one Felix Auger-Aliassime and world number four Daniil Medvedev.
During the tour, the guests were told about the early signs of autism and the importance of timely diagnosis. Among the signs that made them wary, parents said, were alalia, lack of eye contact and interest in playing with other children, a tendency to line up toys strictly in a line or by color.
All 10 Assyl Miras centres have an early intervention programme open just for very young children up to 3 years old. Toddlers and parents are taught to understand each other, even if the child does not speak, to cope with crisis situations, to play with peers and much more. Correctional assistance received in time increases the child’s chances for an independent and full adult life.
As a memento of the visit, the guests were presented with pictures drawn by children.