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Abrazos Foundation

Logo https://showingyou.whatstheirstory.photos/abrazos-foundation

In 2014, I visited Cusco Peru. I stayed with a Dutch foundation called Abrazos for about a month, capturing their work. They help autistic children and their families to live a normal life as far as possible. During my stay, I captured stories of some of these children. 

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John doesn't talk, he just mumbles. He doesn't smile often, but when he does, it's a great smile.

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John can get aggressive, specially when he's afraid or when he feels somebody else - his mother - is afraid.

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It is difficult for John to go outside the house. He is afraid. Every time they try to walk a bit further and often it goes very well. Until he gets spooked, then they'll have to start all over again.

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Two years after my visit in 2014, things haven't changed much. Changes take time, lots of time. According to his father to much time, so he unfortunately stopped treatment.

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Eva-Maria's mother is very proud of her daughter. She understands the difficulties of her autism, but does everything in her power to provide for a good life for her.

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While making music, Eva-Maria can lose herself. To teach her about time and structure, a timer is set. After that a different game is played.

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That structure is not a problem, as the next thing on the "to do" list is finger painting. And that to is one of Eva's favourite things to do.

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Eva-Maria and her family moved away. When in 2016 things started to get worse, her mother took Eva back to Abrazos by bus. That helped, now she comes once a week.

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When I enter the house of Yasmin and her family, it's time for lunch. 

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Her mother tells me that whenever it takes to long before food is served, Yasmin becomes unmanageable. 

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Her family tries to take good care of their daughter, but it's difficult in a city as big and challenging Cusco.

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Abrazos was only treating this girl briefly as her family returned back to her birth village. They unfortunately don't know how she's doing now.

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Parents visiting the headquarters of Abrazos, are sometimes being told their child has autism by a doctor. Regardless the help of Abrazos, that does come as a shock.

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At Abrazos headquaters, children come to puzzle and play. Through personal attention and with lots of toys, the children can enjoy theirselves and learn in a safe surrounding. 

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Every week, children visit Abrazos. Sometimes they play games, other times they do sports or they learn how to cook.

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With pictograms, the children are taught what to do and what not to do.  

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And of course after their delicious Dutch apple pie is ready, they can eat it themselves.

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It's fun to be at Abrazos headquaters, as you get to do fun stuff and meet your friends.

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