Tatyana Fleganova is an example to take lessons from. Educating her 17-year-old disadvantaged son, she understood autism is just another reason to diversify child’s life and not their imprisonment. Many parents are socially inactive. All the time they sit at home and pay undue attention to their disadvantaged children, while there is still life beside their houses. A child should live that life with all the others. In one of her interviews, Tatyana mentioned: “Living with autism is not scary or grim. It is just an ordinary life”. 


She participated in the First all-Russian Mentor Forum held on 14 February. Tatyana told us about her social activity and her role as a mentor. In 2015, she launched the Special People association to help people with special needs who live in Ekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk Oblast. Her organisation’s mission is to help disadvantaged people and their relatives form eventful lives. Association members suppose it is essential to create new possibilities for special people and fulfil their potential. It is also essential to create proper developing childhood including psychological and medical support for children suffering from autism. Tatyana herself is fully dedicated to her mission: “After watching me, mothers become braver. They ask for advice on making their special children’s life brighter. Eventually, they understand that it is possible to make their children’s world interesting and socially adapt them”. 


Tatyana’s former business was in tourism. She mentored many young women who were starting their careers there. After that, they created their own enterprises and worked in the sphere successfully. Tatyana Fleganova shared: “For me, mentorship is being an example. It is not that my students should copy everything I do. It is about me teaching them how to act to achieve better results, which is pursuing their careers properly”. In her opinion, kind-heartedness and understanding are the key qualities of any real mentor. Tatyana supposes, they should always feel the selfless necessity of sharing. 

Her business coaching developed systematically: she gradually educated young women. However, after that she started her spontaneous mentorship, as mothers of special children asked her for help and she provided them with ways of children’s development and necessary recommendations. 

Tatyana compared men’s and women’s approaches to education: “What we do is creating time management while planning interesting things in life. Men would never put such things in their plan”. As for her, women are more creative in their approach. Thus, they fully use intuition and psychology. 

Having said that, Tatyana Fleganova advised women-mentors not to compete with men, but be themselves and do what they are good at. For example, if a woman likes to cook, she has to open her restaurant. That way, she will do her job affectionately, while every visitor will enjoy dishes she cooks. In her opinion, “The job you truly like is a luxury. It means, one will not have to work a single day in their life”. 

Marina Kachkalova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Boykov