In boarding schools for children with mental retardation many students for whom learning problems and bad behavior turned into a diagnosis for life. Today they will be only one destiny – a psychoneurological internat. Special correspondent of “Kommersant” Olga Allenova the last few years travels to regional orphanages-boarding schools and STUMPS together with specialists of the Moscow Center for curative pedagogics (CCP), which conduct training seminars for Agency staff and discuss how to improve the quality of life of children with special needs. “Pravmir” Olga Allenova continues to talk about people who could live independently, but are doomed to a boarding school. Their names have been changed.
Photo: Stepan Rudik / stepanrudik.com
- “I was in the STUMPS near St. Petersburg, and it’s hell. More than a thousand shadows”
- “The kids are all up”
- They call themselves “plaid”: for what can be in tree STUMPS
- “The apartment is no longer seen – I was brought to the STUMPS, and now I’m a nobody”
- Nicholas Shipilov: forced treatment, in a terrible KICK
The free people
Sergei Artamonov 22 years, he has lived at young disabled people of the boarding school. Stocky, broad-shouldered, fair-haired, Serezha smiles all the time, as if already trying to appease you. Of the 69 people in the office only two capable. Serezha is one of the two. In boarding school you can learn from a porter, and Serge is happy to get a profession. Here he earns as a porter, in exchange for 3-4 thousand rubles a month.
A few years ago, when the whole country began to reform the orphan institution, the echoes of reform has come to this boarding school.
It turned out that I did not know how to read and write, although he has practically intact intellect. Such cases are not uncommon: due to educational neglect and bad behavior orphans are diagnosed with mental retardation.
The guy offered to go to school. But to go to school in 18 years, not very nice. So we agreed on the fact that the teacher come to see Sergei in a boarding school.
In his spare time, he helps educators and walks with young children in the yard of the institution. Standing in the queue for housing in a nearby village, hopes to live independently and then get in the same boarding school security guard. To live without boarding him will be difficult. “I have used all know,” he smiles.
Serezha receives a pension for the owner, he goes to the store and a Barber shop, but every time I have to get permission to withdraw from school. On any purchase it needs to ask the permission of the caseworker. Serezha’s have a phone, laptop, camera, karaoke. He pays for mobile Internet, and in his spare time, from 17 to 19 hours — communicate in social networks, watching movies on the Internet. Dinner at 19, lights out at 21. The light is turned off, even if you don’t want to sleep. The staff calls it the freest man in the DDI.
“Sergei Artamonov – error diagnosis — recognizes the Director of the orphanage. – He’s a little caught were quite aggressive. Then I changed. But now living on its own, without an escort, he can’t. All my life spent here. We talked to him, he agreed. So in the queue for housing until it pushed”.
— And he said he really wants to live myself — I object.
— He wants but lost. I’ve been talking to our authorities, let us on the Federal programme of housing for orphans then construct an apartment house next to us, so that our specialists could accompany the guys. Well, at least one member of staff let him sit in the storeroom on duty – and we will know if there are any issues and you need help. But not broken we.
Sasha Panov 19. In 2000, the year his parents wrote an application to place it in the child’s home, 4 years later from alcohol mother died, and a year later the father. The family had 5 children.
To 12, he studied and lived in the state educational institution for orphans – boarding school. If he managed to finish school, but now he could stand in the queue for housing and, perhaps, to live independently. But the Director has decided that Sasha “as health and marital status” needs clearance in DD.
I see private affair Sasha. It was transferred from one institution to another, several times — in 2004, 2008 and 2012. that is, the first time Sasha had experienced stress in infancy, when left without parents. Then in 4 years when he was transferred from orphanage to orphanage. Then at age 8 and 12. All his life this boy knew that for adults it is just the thing. In our country for a long time it was believed that orphans do not deserve permanent residence, they were shuffled from place to place like a deck of cards.
In 2015 the government decision No. 481 recommended for children in institutions in a consistent environment, not to move them from one institution, from group to group. Because the lack of such an environment leads to loss of the sense of security that hinders the development of the child and helps to build-up deprivation, which subsequently breaks him. However, until now this decision a little where it is performed in good faith.
Children’s doctor-neurologist of the Center for curative pedagogics Anastasia Primakov noted that the frequent transfers from one institution to ruin a child’s psyche, because needed for normal development of stability.
Thin, small, puny, he looks 14, not 18. We stand in the hallway outside the large window. I ask how he got this DD.
— I have a brother, Pasha. In the orphanage we lived together. But he was taken to the city in foster care. And I transferred here.
Sasha said very calmly and not looking at me.
— Why transferred?
There, in the orphanage I was molested by the big boys. Beat me. I ran. While I was with my brother, did not hurt. Well, I wasn’t terribly offended. And without it I felt really bad there. I wanted to find Pasha in the Internet. We Artamonov, a lot of people with that name looking. But not found. I would like to communicate with him, it’s boring without him.
When translating, he of course was diagnosed. “Mental disorder and behavior disorder, including mental retardation”. And he’s “unbalanced” and “excitable”. Without a diagnosis of DD can not be translated. But if a teenager is hard, and with him in the orphanage can’t handle it, it hospitalityat in a psychiatric hospital. Several of these hospitalizations and the diagnosis is ready. Therefore, the “difficult” teenagers of the usual children’s homes are often in DD.
Of course, I’m not saying that all the children in the DD and incorrect diagnoses. But even employees of the boarding schools recognize the problem of overdiagnosis. With this diagnosis it is very difficult to get out of DD free. As a rule, there’s only one road into the STUMPS. Neurologist Anastasia Primakov says: “Secondary violations are all the children in the DD. Any child in an orphanage is a violation of attachment, and the result may be a violation of the emotional-volitional sphere.
A child with behavioral disorders and no one is comfortable; it will be put in a psychiatric hospital for a long time, he goes out there with drug intoxication, because in hospitals they are usually heavily loaded with drugs.
The school can not cope with them, teachers, too, so the only way for the orphanage – “heavier” the diagnosis of the child and translate it into DD”.
With these children need psychologists, said the doctor, but they are in institutions or not at all, or they do not know how to work with children who have experienced trauma.
For a review of the diagnosis requires examination by an independent neuropsychologist. But this initiative can only be the Director of the DDI, which is the official guardian of the children living in the orphanage. But for the Director it is unnecessary problems.
Sasha “is subject to providing living quarters” in his home district, but in the orphanage all understand that he already will never go. Life for him had taken a decision: what it is, what to wear, who to live in a room, where to go in your free time. Free, without support, he lost.
He has a sister Maya, she is 11 years old. Together they go to one school in the village. Sasha is studying in 7th class, and Maya, 1. With her he became acquainted in DD. It would seem that he grew up in an orphanage and doesn’t remember his family. It would seem that he has not preserved any attachment to their relatives. But for Sasha’s sister Maya and brother Pasha – the closest people. His other brothers he had never seen.
— Yesterday we went on a tour — it tells me Sasha, and his eyes light up. – Went to a Museum in the Kremlin. The eternal flame seen. The Kremlin was built a very long time. He defended the city from enemies. I’ve seen the bells, very old. There are 12 of us went. We spent two hours walking. The birds watched. Even went to the factory where they make the military details. There we were. I sing in the choir. Then we went to McDonald’s.
With us in the hallway is the social worker of the orphanage. Sasha incapacitated, and he talk to me one on one was not allowed. He suddenly remembers how last year went with a group to Moscow.
— We went to the restaurant “Old town”!
— Well, — asks the social worker. — What a memory!
In GUM went, – continues the guy. — On Red square, the Aquarium, the theatre on Taganka. There is one actor with me was photographed.
I ask Sasha to buy some things. In his personal case, I only saw the request to issue 100 or 50 rubles on the tour. The money from the account is incapacitated can be removed only with the permission of the guardianship. For social workers it is every time headache.
— I have a musical centre, — tells Sasha.
He’s your personal?
— No, it is the teachers use, include us Tchaikovsky.
— A walk do you go to?
— We have a small child walk in the yard. In the garden work, flower bed planting. One won’t let me go, with us tutor goes.
I asked where his personal clothing. He points at his t-shirt and shorts: “I give out after the bath, pants, t-shirt, clothes.” On the shirt tag with a false name.
– Bath and when?
— On Tuesdays. When you have to go on a trip, bathing in the tub.
— A dream you have, Sasha?
— Brother’s dream of seeing. Pasha.
After this conversation, I’m looking for the Deputy Director on uchebno-educational work and ask why no one is looking casinogo brother because he misses him, and he has that resource.
We were looking for him already, ‘ answered the Director. — I at the children’s home came out, I was told that brother to 18 years of age live in a foster home, then began to live by himself. He studied at the agronomic College, fell in love with the girl, tried to commit suicide, now often in a psychiatric hospital. I know that Alex is looking for him. But, most likely, and not in social networks.
Capable, but proprietary
A month later, I come to the next region and see DD and the other guys – but their fate is written as a blueprint, and all in the eyes the same longing. Andrew, 25 years in the orphan system in early childhood – mother died, father stripped of parental rights. He studied at the boarding school of the 8th form, but because of the bad behavior was transferred to DD. The diagnosis mental retardation mild – appeared right in front of the translation.
Medical Commission in 2014, the year concluded, can not live independently, care for themselves in full can not. By and large, none of these guys can’t live “in full”. They need support, they need to be taught everything over again as small children. And they, having become acquainted with the world, would be able to live in it. I’m sure of it. I have seen these people in other countries – they live in society, and they are happy. But while accompanied by the accommodation of people with disabilities did not become in Russia the norm, a chance for a decent life these guys don’t have.
Andrey lives in a halfway house with DD – it was invented specifically to ensure that pupils are not left to the STUMPS in 18 years, and could live in a native boarding school at least up to the 33’s. That will be 33? Maybe nothing will be. At STUMPS survive, not all.
Meanwhile, Andrew is capable. And he is assigned a living space in a 2-room apartment left after my mother died.
But while the medical Commission decides that he can live alone, get out of the orphanage he can’t. It’s very strange, because to keep a force capable of the human social institution is illegal. But so do many boarding schools. Even go to the store Andrew can only “leave”, which will be marked, when he should return. In the apartment he now lives with his older brother, a graduate of the correctional school. Brother “establishing privacy”, they say to me in boarding school.
And while Andrew does not live there, he sent utility bills. Once the bailiff has written off from his account of 20 thousand rubles in payment of a debt. Lawyer, DDI issued a claim in court, the penalty was canceled. And I.
Andrew has a friend Peter. He also lives in a halfway house with DD. Also capable. Strong, stocky, curly, only alert, and a contact built immediately. Orphans have grown up with such difficulties in communication arise frequently. We are allowed to talk in the classroom. Peter is fluent in speech, correctly speaks, calm, reasoning is consistent and logical. When I find out his diagnosis — moderate mental retardation – is not surprising.
It so happened that in our country the orphan’s deprivation, bad behavior, and the adolescent desire to break free is often interpreted as symptoms of mental illness.
He’s already 28. And in the boarding school came when it was 6. Since this is his house. “My parents were poor living, he says. But I would like to return to them”. I look at this young man, full of life and energy, and I think he really wanted to live a normal life, meet a girl, go to work, raise children – and instead, he fell into a life sentence. The medical Commission allowed him to stay. I ask him how it happened.
I can’t really explain what I do and what is not, — says Peter. — They asked me the multiplication table you know? I say not really, I need to spy. And examples know how to solve, and the money understand. Also know how to cook – here we are taught. Know how to write the alphabet, you know, typing on a computer. With a girl from St. Petersburg talk of “Vkontakte”. We in boarding Hiking sometimes, and I then sent her pictures of our trips.
But the Commission said that I can’t live by himself. I don’t know what they want from me. Probably keep me around because I’m at work useful woodwork in the garden, well all can. Tomatoes, cucumbers grow. If in the dining room call for volunteers to prepare lunch, I always go”.
The Department of disabled youth Peter can live to 35. And then, if you do not pass medical Commission, he was sent into the STUMPS. “I would like to go home to their parents. Yes, they drink, but also work too. At the factory for 8 thousand earn. And I would have the repairs done. The house they are old. Painting I know. I’m in the village here have built, a day for 400 rubles I paid. The solution to interfere can. I want out of here. You don’t know how.”