Autism In Morocco: No Money, Yes Crying

July 21, 2016

The concept of the autism spectrum has expanded widely in many circles over the past three decades. In the U.S., for example, some people who are “on the spectrum” are, in fact, exceptionally autonomous and capable: they graduate from college, hold jobs, live independently, write books, raise children of their own.

But in Morocco, the diagnosis is typically (though not exclusively) applied to people with more dramatic symptoms. The reasons for this are multiple and debated, but for present purposes we must leave them aside. However, autism care in Morocco is intense. This is partly due to the characteristics of some of the people so diagnosed.

It is perhaps unsurprising that there are significant inequalities in autism education and care in Morocco. Indeed, the Moroccan healthcare and education systems, more broadly, are riddled with inequities.

And there is no doubt that caring for severely autistic children and adults is often challenging the world over. But the political and economic structure of the field of autism care in Morocco creates an unusually complicated scenario as different kinds of inequalities and expectations collide. If you are going to have an autistic child in Morocco, you need to be very rich.

This is a truthful matter that does exist. However, even families with means and influence shave difficulties in finding appropriate services for their child. It isn’t easy for them either and their struggles are just about sufficient to keep their efforts on-going – the classrooms, the preparations, the funds and wages, the continuous commitment.

By the time they achieve something positive, they have exhausted all their efforts and are totally worn out because the quality of the education still has limitations. However, their battle to make available special education and social belonging will inevitably help their child have a better life, and therefore, it was truly worth it.