„Autism beyond words”

(The photo gallery of the event is available here.)


The 2nd of April is World Autism Day. At Support Services, we thought we would mark the occasion with a photo exhibition of children with autism. We would like to thank the staff of PSZIESZTA (Pécs Psychology Days) who were open to help us with the organisation of the event.

The photographer, Viktor Gergő Perecz, is a qualified "shadow teacher", currently working as a dog trainer in Bonyhád. He was born in 1988 in Pécs. He was the initiator, founder and for many years the secretary of the Eurokavilo Children's Oncology and Children's Hospice Foundation. He was introduced to "shadow pedagogy" at the GAPS Foundation in Budapest, which enabled him to become a helper for children with autism. During this period he also became a practising photographer. As life would have it, he had to let go of the meaningful, joyful years of "shadow pedagogy" as a result of a stroke. Leo, his dog, came into his life as a gift when he most needed a companion and friend. This close bond led them straight to the opening of the dog school, Leo Tanoda, in Bonyhád.

Viktor's pictures mark an important stage in his slow, steady recovery. When he was learning to speak again, he said he was experiencing what it was like to exist in a prison of silence. The photographs cannot be seen in black and white, the emotions shine through the moments captured, taking you on a stunning emotional rollercoaster.


The exhibition was opened by Beatrix Lábadi, associate professor and Deputy Dean for Science and Applications at the University of Applied Sciences, PTE BTK. The round table discussion that followed focused on inclusive pedagogy, acceptance, and how autistic people can cope in the current educational system. The participants were: Kata Viktória Hajdu-Tóth Dr., Neuroaffirmative Mentor, H.A.P.P.Y-coach at Neurodiverz Workshop, Fanni Boda, psychology student,  Beáta Zsófia Korinek Dr., mother of an Aspergers child, Nikolett Zoboki-Gergely, the Support Service staff member, mental health specialist, Dr. László Márk, associate professor, András Olessák, social assistant of the Support Service and Viktor Perecz.

It was a fascinating and thought-provoking session. What resonates with me now is a simple yet instructive truth: "If you know one autistic person, you only know one". I think this is true for any disability and it captures the essence of inclusive education in a great way. It's worth reflecting on how it differs from integration, which one has a basis if we really want to help.

- András Olessák - 





You shall not pass!