On January 4th, 1962, despite the fact that special schools already existed in Cuba, Special Education was officially established as a system and later on constituted into a network throughout the island.
Sancti Spiritus welcomes the 50th anniversary of that event with the satisfaction of having assisted the children, teenagers and youth in need of special instruction. According to the special education expert Onelda Gerónimo, the territory’s got 14 schools for minors who are mentally retarded or those with retardation in their psychical development.
These institutions are also attended by children with visual or ear impairment, language or behavioural disorders, and physical or motor limitations. Autism is present in eight of the kids attending these special teaching facilities.
The system is also provided with the so-called Centers for Diagnosis and Orientation (CDO), where experts´criteria are brought into line for a more effective assistance to the patients. It is also via these professionals that due assistance is offered to ordinary school children whose pathologies or disorders can be solved in a relatively short period of time.
Unlike what’s generally believed, these schools, except the one for the mentally retarded, use the program applied in general education institutions, since the children will go to study there once their limitations will be overcome.
And we cannot overlook the 187 children who are unable to attend school due to their limitations or diseases and are taught at home.
Every and each of these children’s story can be translated into a history of abnegation and sacrifice, which are the Cuban state’s efforts when allocating a large quantity of money every year to make the lives of these children easier.