Author: Mina Lambovski // Published at THE AUTISM FILE GLOBAL ISSUE 39 // 04-08-2011
Mina Lambovskyhas a background in finances in one of the best known banks in Bulgaria. She was manager at one of the nation’s largest companies, Messer Bulgaria Ltd, part of the Messer Group – a leading supplier of technical gases and related equipment on a worldwide scale. Mother of three kids, the first one, Boris, was diagnosed with autism in 2002. Since then she became interested in the field of psychology and in 2007 she completed her Master’s degree in Child Psychology. In 2009, she created Tacitus – a day care centre in Sofia for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It was from that point that her real professional development began.
I am the mother of a child with autism as most of you are. My story is very similar to that of many parents in my country. In Bulgaria, it is difficult for families to receive this diagnosis for their children. When they finally do get a diagnosis, they are told that autism is a lifelong condition, and all that can be done for the child is to find a psychologist and a speech-therapist.
Of course, I didn’t give up. I immediately found a psychologist and a speech-therapist who started to work with my son, Boris. However, he is very low functioning and despite the very intensive psychology and speech-therapy work that ensued, his progress was minimal. Unfortunately, at this time (ten years ago) we had no information about autism: there were no forums, no literature, and it was impossible for parents to understand what this condition truly is. I started searching myself for information and contacted some parents abroad – in the UK and in the USA. As i communicated with them, step by step I discovered very interesting facts related to autism. I learned about the diet, the biomedical approach, and the gastrointestinal problems occurring in so many children with autism.
After some time, I succeeded in contacting Dr. Anju Usman and Dr. Arthur Krigsman who oversaw the therapy for my child. I am extremely grateful to them. At the time I began working with Drs. Usman and Krigsman, my son was six and a half years old. He didn’t speak a word, and understood very little of what was said to him. Just one year later, he was already speaking simple phrases, could understand many things, and was beginning to learn to read and write. Boris is not recovered and perhaps he will never be, but he has made great progress. My husband and I continue our hard work each day of our
lives. We hope we will win many more battles in the future. In the opinion of nearly everyone around us, our son was hopeless. The progress he has made proves that this is not the case. Because of this, I decided to share my experience and the information I had learned with other parents in Bulgaria.
My outreach to other parents eventually led to the creation of the Tacitus Center.
Here we began to help each other along our shared autism journey. We started a GFCF diet, supplemental support, psychology, and speech therapy. What we have seen so far is that all of the kids do make progress. I will never forget the arrival of the first child – Ogy, a three year old – the son of extremely intelligent and knowledgeable parents.
When he first came to us, Ogy could barely speak. His behavior was very oppositional, making it quite difficult to work with him. Today, thanks to the help of Dr. Usman and to the specialists at Tacitus, Ogy’s behavior has improved tremendously, and he has acquired the skills typical of children his age. All of us at Tacitus are very proud and excited that we have several other children progressing in the same manner as Ogy.
As word began to spread in Bulgaria about those of us implementing the biomedical approach and addressing gastrointestinal problems, we were confronted- as are people all over the world fordoing likewise-with much aggression.
Of course, it is especially painful when such confrontations come from other parents who are in the same situation as we are.
At the end of January 2010, we organized and held the first conference in Bulgaria related to biomedical treatment in the city of Sofia. We were honored to extend a hearty welcome to Dr. Krigsman and Dr. Usman. Two hundred parents and specialists attended, and the feedback we received was extremely positive. This year, at the beginning of January, we held the second conference of this kind, again with approximately 200 in attendance. We’ve received much gratitude from parents for establishing this greatly needed forum for sharing knowledge and experience in treating autism.
We recently translated the first book in Bulgaria concerning the biomedical approach, Special Diets for Special Kids, by Lisa Lewis. We hope this will be the beginning of a process of providing greater awareness and knowledge of biomedical autism treatments. Our goal is to help Bulgarian parents gain another point of view, giving them the opportunity to choose their own way of finding treatment for their children with autism.
As most of the children in Tacitus have serious gastrointestinal problems, many parents in Bulgaria requested that Dr.
Krigsman examine their children. He accepted this invitation and traveled from the US to perform endoscopy, colonoscopy and wireless endoscopy. I scheduled appointments with the management of Tokuda Hospital – the most modern hospital in Bulgaria. Tokuda is a part of Tokushukai Medical Corporation – the third largest hospital chain in the world, with more than 300 medical establishments,
290 of which are in Japan. They provided us a team of specialists, and with the guidance of Dr. Krigsman, undertook the procedures. Thanks to this incredible cooperation and the approval of Dr.
Tokuda – owner of the corporation – some of the Bulgarian children now receive the best medical assistance available and have the possibility of ameliorating their gastrointestinal problems. Dr. Usman has helped the parents in understanding the biomedical challenges of autism such as the importance of using supplements, cleaning the environment and the diet, etc. We, the parents of Tacitus center, are extremely grateful to these two world famous physicians, and also to Tokuda hospital. For most of the parents, travelling to the USA would be impossible. This effort provided the opportunity of hope for our children. One of the most popular broadcasts in Bulgaria covered the event which generated huge publicity. This media exposure helped many parents in Bulgaria by introducing them to biomedical methods, giving them knowledge regarding most of the problems their children have, and what treatments for those issues hold the most promise.
We-30 parents and supporters- created Association Tacitus, a non-profit organization. Our mission is to help parents and children as best we can, to seek the input of renowned autism specialists, to translate treatment-related publications, and to get the message out that autism is treatable and that there is hope for our children. Most of the Bulgarian parents are interested in learning more, but unfortunately, we don’t have as much access to relevant information that parents have in the USA and the UK. We are trying to change that: all parents of children with autism need as much information as possible in order to make the best possible choices for their children. The objective of the Association Tacitus is to move in exactly that direction.