Autism Friendly St. Petersburg
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In this article we give an overview of the state and recent progress of Autism-related services for local families, living in “the Venice of the North”.
We also discuss our ability to provide Autism-Friendly tours and shore excursions in St Petersburg for you and your family.
Autism Awareness in St Petersburg
Unfortunately, Autism is still widely overlooked in Russia. In general, people don’t know what Autism is, not to mention know communication and teaching strategies as are common elsewhere. Sadly, in Russia you can’t really find professionals who are interested in or who are trained to work with persons on the Spectrum.
The root of the problem is that the extent of the disorder in Russia is unknown. Since no official data are collected, it impossible to estimate the scale of the need for services for families dealing with Autism. This in turn prevents funds from being directed to alleviate the problem. This vicious cycle prevents establishing support systems for families and persons with Autism.
Recently, a private organization called “Anton Tut Ryadom” (Anthony is Right Here) was created to support families and to build connections with local companies to employ young adults on the Spectrum. So far, 30 young adults with Autism have been employed in St. Petersburg since 2017.
If you’re interested in helping out, you can donate to this organization to help create a more inclusive environment. They accept donations on their webpage (in English, using Google Translate: link).
Autism-Friendly Tours in St Petersburg
Despite the local situation for families living with ASD in St. Petersburg, there’s no reason that guests should also be without support.
Traveling with children can be a daunting experience, especially if your child has ASD.
Unusual environments, being in a tour group with strangers, over-crowded museums, and nonroutine schedules — all of which can lead to your child getting tired and overwhelmed, potentially leading them to a meltdown.
Although many cruise lines now offer Autism-Friendly cruise ships and voyages (such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, among others), they do not offer the same level of accommodation for their shore excursions in St Petersburg. The same can be said about local tour companies in this fantastic port city.
Fortunately, we are here to help. Experience Russia is proud to be the only tour company in St. Petersburg with tour guides who are Certified Autism Travel Professionals (CATP) with the training to plan for and work with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Our Family-Friendly tours are also Autism-Friendly. With guides officially certified to work with persons on the Spectrum, not only your travel interests and requests, but also your child’s sensory needs and triggers will all be carefully accounted for.
We will also work with you to create a custom itinerary that best suits the personal interests of your loved one. Since all of our Family-Friendly tours are private, there is a greater flexibility in the itinerary, just in case anything unexpected pops up.
Experience Russia is proud to have guides officially certified for working with ASD persons and children. Check out our “Autism Travel Professional” certification and “Many Faces of Autism” certificates.
Traveling with children with ASD doesn’t have to be difficult! Our dedicated team will help you to plan and organize a great child-friendly tour or shore excursion.
We will get back to you with itinerary proposal and ideas on how to organize an Autism-Friendly tour that will be perfect for you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.