World January 10, 2023 | 5:00 pm

Dominican in NY recognized among “Unstoppable Women”

Maxi Feliz, was recognized last week by the influential Hispanic TV network in the United States. The publication of “Mujeres Imparables,” a Telemundo initiative that recognizes Latin American women who break down barriers, pursue their dreams, and never give up, highlights Feliz’s qualities and virtues as the mother of a child with autism who, through her “Mamá Tolita” foundation, advocates for neurodivergence in New York and the Dominican Republic. Among other strategies, she said during the interview that was chosen by the prestigious Hispanic TV channel: After my son was diagnosed with autism in the middle of the pandemic, I sought advice in Argentina, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, finding great professionals there who provided exceptional management of the condition but were prohibitively expensive.

“In the DR, there are legal provisions that protect the rights of all equally for the neurotypical, but not for the autistic,” she claims. “Since we are a social and democratic State of law established in article 7 of our Magna Carta, and as part of ratified and signed international agreements, they force us to comply with what has been agreed. As a result, it is “guaranteeing, anticipating, respecting, and promoting the rights of all human beings in an equal, equitable, and progressive manner,” she says. In the DR, regarding the right to health, there is no infrastructure and qualified medical personnel; a lack of early detection mechanisms. Furthermore, even if they are affiliated with the Social Security System, health insurance does not include or cover therapies”.

“In terms of education, it violates one of its fundamental principles, accessibility, true inclusion,” says Feliz. “Caids is not exclusive to autism, and there are only three in the entire country,” says Feliz. “They are not educational centers, but rehabilitation centers. There is no true inclusive education,” says Feliz. Likewise, “it raises its disagreement with how the State for a decade has handled the situation of autistic people, excluding them as if they did not exist, when in other countries attention has been paid in terms of health, education, work, food and sports”. Feliz, who will graduate with a Law Degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) next month, wrote her thesis titled “Rights of people with autism spectrum disorder, addressing the need for differentiated equality in the RD,” the Caribbean country’s first legal investigation.


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