When Alesio was two years old, now 16 years of age, was unable to say his first words like other children of his age. His parents noticed this and, worried about the fact that their son was not speaking, decided to talk to a specialist. Alesio was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To the boy's parents, the word 'autism' was unknown, but they slowly began to learn more, not only what autism was, but also what to do so that their son could develop. Alesio's father has a small garage and this is the only source of income that the family has. He enjoys spending time at the garage along with his dad and tries to help him out by doing some small errands. Thus, the boy is involved, learns new things every day and doesn't spend the whole time at home.
"Alesio needs more care. Since he was little, I've tried to keep him by my side to care for him and to spend more time with him. He often wants to spend the day with me at work, but due to his illness, he can’t spend a lot of time with me or at school," says Adrian, Alesio's father.
The global pandemic made life more difficult for Alesio's family. As the boy grew, so did his needs. He wanted to have his own tools at the garage to be able to work as a real professional, but his parents had not been able to provide for him. Now, Alesio has his own tool kit thanks to the support made by the Inclusive Response to COVID-19 for Disabled Children and their Families in Albania programme, funded by the European Union and implemented by the World Vision Albania.
Alesio's family is one of the 700 Albanian families that this project has assisted to improve integrated services for disabled children, but also to help families overcome their hardships, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic.