The Ambassador of Autistan in Kazakhstan

Adiyar Zharmenov
Ambassador of Autistan in Kazakhstan

ambassador-kz (@) autistan.org

 

In July 2016, we met Adiyar Zharmenov, a young man with “Asperger autism” (i.e. a light form of autism), who was attending the Pioneer Inclusive Summer Camp.
After some time, we offered him to be the Ambassador of Autistan in Kazakhstan.
He thought about it during a few days, and he accepted.

He wrote the following text, which nicely describes the concept.

Autistan

By Adiyar Zharmenov,
Ambassador of Autistan to Kazakhstan

I have always been strange.
I had problems in school.
I have been going to psychologists, until finally, it became clear what was happening.
I have Asperger’s syndrome, I am an autistic.
This diagnosis made things clear in my life.
I have made a lot of progress (thanks to the patience and the faith of my mother) and I began to think about the support to such children.
So I became a part of the Autistan project.
And I became the first Autistan ambassador in Kazakhstan.
Now, my mission is to help the strange children like me fit into social life.
I know how important it is to fit into society.
And I know how hard it is.
For a long time, it was impossible for me to do so.
I always sat alone in the cafeteria, and spoke to no one.
I went down the hallway and looked at my feet.
Everyone thought I was strange, because of my movements with hands, and because of that I rode through the corridors like a horse.
And I could never understand what other people feel.
And I could not understand their mood.
No one knew what was happening to me and whether it is possible to cure it.
It continued until the age of nineteen.
In June 2013 in Switzerland, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.
I was diagnosed for 2 days in the hospital, but usually diagnosis lasts at least a week.
It became clear that I was born with it, and that it cannot be completely cured.
But a lot can change, life can be greatly improved.
My mother and I got to work almost immediately.
Soon after that I have been admitted to an American university, I started with a psychologist, who helped me to understand the emotions of people and find fellowship.
I have friends there.
After the third year of my studies, my mother thought that I needed to progress in dealing with people, and more independence, and she sent me to the mountain camp “Pioneer”.
This is a unique family holiday camp in Almaty, which was opened by my mother’s friend Zhanat Karatay – mother of 5 children, one of which is
autistic.
In this camp, autistic children stay together with ordinary children.
Our main problem is the fact that we cannot communicate, but at the same time, our society does not give us the opportunity to learn it.
At Pioneer, I met with the Frenchman Eric Lucas, who purposely came to assist people like me.
Eric Lucas is also autistic.
As a child, he was a loner, like all of us.
But then he overcame his problems.
He tried to solve his problems until he managed to completely change his life.
He got a job as a DJ, and began to communicate with people through music and he even performed in Courchevel.
By the age of forty, he was in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of objects in the pockets.
He became the head of an international autistic organization.
And he spoke on this subject at the United Nations.
And then fate brought him to Kazakhstan.
He became a consultant on autism in the camp “Pioneer”, where we met.
Together, we helped camp counselors to find contact with autistic children.
As well as helping small autistic children fit into society and start changing their lives.
At the same time, he is engaged in an ambitious project.
The project of creating a global community of autistics under the banner of Autistan.
Autistan is a special project.
It is an invisible country for autistics.
It is a country that exists in their thoughts and fantasies.
This country should serve as a shelter for them, a safe haven, where they are
not threatened.
It must be an international community of people born autistic.
This country should be invisibly present in the life of these people.
The international community of autistic people autism must support each of its members.
Lucas project must bring that country into the real world.
The concept of the project envisages the creation of web pages with the domains of most countries and the creation of a network of Autistan embassies around the world. Ambassadors must be successful autistic adults from those countries.
As part of this project, Autistan pages were created in more than fifty domain zones.
Eric’s friend Josef Schovanec had written a few books : “Voyages en Autistan” (“Travels in Autistan”), “De l’amour en Autistan” (“About love in Autistan”).
These books were the first entrance of Autistan into the real world.
It was also created the first physical Autistan Embassy in Kazakhstan.
It is housed in a small house on the mountain at the Pioneer Mountain Resort.
I became the first ambassador of Autistan in the real world.
Now, that we have the first embassy, I would like to believe that in the future, Autistan
embassies network will cover the world.
They will exist even in the nations where to this day, nobody has heard such words. Problems of autistic children will be resolved and they will be happy.
They will be fully accepted into the life of society and they will be all right!

Adiyar Zharmenov at the top of the Pioneer peak
during a hike up there

He was a student in the USA, but now (in 2021) he lives in Almaty (his hometown).

Adiyar’s graduation and medal
at Hofstra university in New York (may 2017)


At the moment (2021), due to the very slow development of the concept (because of the lack of means), the Ambassadors of Autistan did not really have the opportunity to carry out their functions (which are still to be defined more accurately).