Autism Friendly Spaces new MSSA Erasmus plus project

Dear readers,

With great pleasure we want to announce that we got the new #Erasmusplus project togethter with partners from Malta, Spain and Belgium. The title of the project is Autism Friendly Spaces.

The main aim of this project is to create a change in community by :

  • adjusting environments to be more accessible to people with autism
  • providing training and creating awareness in the community
  • helping the social aspect for youth with autism.

Online modules specifically for school educators will be created. A certificate will be
provided once the modules are complete. Providing professional guidance to modify school space into an accessible and safe space for students with autism.

  • Providing professional guidance and training to employees on autism and how to
    provide an accessible space to people with autism.
  • Creating an Autism Friendly Award which will be given to shops/services who fulfill
    the criteria.
  • Creating a website and an app with information and location about the awarded
    services and shops which are participating in this project and the services that are being
    offered.

President of MSSA

Signed cooperation agreement between UNICEF MK and MSSA

Dear colleagues,

We are glad to announce that we signed a cooperation agreement between UNICEF MK and Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism on the project entitled: “Autism Social Skills and Positive Parenting Program. It is a small scale funding agreement and the duration of the project will be one year. With this, our NGO will help again to the children with #autism in Macedonia and their families as well. We are working in continuum 19 years on the improvement of the quality of life of those vulnerable category of our citizens. I would like to express my gratitude to all involved persons in this first stage of the project. We hope that the final results of the project will satisfied families who have children with autism.

President of MSSA

 

Second #AutismPCP project meeting in Bucharest

Dear colleagues,

Second Autism PCP project meeting was held on 2nd and 3rd May, in Bucharest, Romania. Participating Organisations were D.A.D.A.A, Maendeleo for Children Aps, Scoala Gimnaziala Smaranda Gheorghiu, Cyclisis, ShipCon Limassol Limited and Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism.

The subject of this transnational meeting was finalizing Intellectual Output 1a with focus on transitions. All participating organizations reported the national context regarding best practices on autism as well as common strategies identified via the questionnaire. Future tasks distribution and time table were discussed.

Next project meeting will be held in September, in Rome, Italy.

Vice-president of MSSA

#AutismPCP kick-off meeting realized in Patras

Dear colleagues,

I want to inform you that we realized the first meeting of #AutismPCP priject from December 11th to December 12th in Patras, Greece.  Twelve participants from 6 partners countries (Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romaina, Italy and Macedonia) attended there. Participating Organisations were:

  • D.A.D.A.A (Association of Parents, Legal Guardians & Friends of Children & Adults in Autism spectrum disorders and Aspergers’)
  • MAENDELEO FOR CHILDREN APS
  • Scoala Gimnaziala Smaranda Gheorghiu
  • CYCLISIS
  • SHIPCON LIMASSOL LIMITED
  • PARVI NATIONALEN CENTAR PO DYSLEXIA
  • Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism.

Partners have presented their organizations. Than presentation of project design, work plan, time table, distribution of tasks and responsibilities, were discussed. Also dissemination plan, further dissemination activities/specific tasks, website, social media, leaflet, logo, were subject of this meeting. Autism Life Planning Tools and Intellectual Output with focus on O1 were topics as well.

Next transnational meeting will held in Romania in May 2019.

President of MSSA

IMPACT of Parent Education on Families in South-EAST Europe

Saturday, May 12, 2018: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Hall Grote Zaal (de Doelen ICC Rotterdam)
D. R. Preece1, J. Stošić2, E. Theodorou3, J. Troshanska4, K. Mavrou3, L. Symeou3, J. Frey Škrinjarand V. Trajkovski5, (1) Faculty of Education and Humanities, University of Northampton, Northampton , United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, (2) Department of Inclusive Education and Rehabilitation, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, (3) School of Humanities, Social and Education Sciences, European University Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus, (4) Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism, Skopje, Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of, (5)Faculty of Philosophy, University of Ss Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of
Background: Autism challenges traditional parenting styles, and can make parents feel deskilled and disempowered, especially if little information or support is available to them. Providing accurate information about autism to parents, and teaching them to adapt their parenting using good autism practice has been shown to be effective in improving personal, educational and social outcomes for individuals with autism and their families (Bearss et al 2015, Farmer and Reupert 2013). However, such support is extremely limited or non-existent within some south-east European countries.

Objectives: A three-year European Union-funded project has been established involving family members, professionals and academics. Its objectives are to develop a core parent autism education curriculum and locally appropriate parent education materials and methods; to provide parent education in three diverse south-eastern European countries (Croatia, Cyprus and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) where diagnosis and service provision are emergent; to develop local parent education teams within these countries to ensure sustainability; and to evaluate the impact of the parent education events upon families attending.

Methods: After reviewing the literature and surveying parental priorities in the three countries, a 12-hour parent education programme and locally differentiated training materials were developed. In total, five cohorts of approximately 20 parents each will receive parent education within each of the three countries. A combined process and outcome mixed methods evaluation methodology (Royse et al 2009) is being used to evaluate the project. Data are gathered via pre-attendance, post-attendance and follow-up (3-month) parent questionnaires – incorporating the CarerQoL quality of life scale (Hoefman et al 2014) – from all participants, semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of parents, trainer focus groups and reflective diaries, and document analysis. We here report on quantitative (n = 108) and qualitative data (n = 20) from parent cohorts 1 and 2.

Results: Quantitative data identify that >90% of respondents have improved their understanding of autism, >80% report improved child communication and >75% report improvements in overall family life, their ability to predict their child’s behaviour and their ability to respond to concerns and comments from the broader family. Carer QoL data indicate increased parental happiness following attendance (p=.001). Key themes from qualitative data are the positive impact of attending the parent education programme, increased awareness regarding sensory and communication issues and improvements in everyday life. Parents also reported that attendance provided opportunities to meet other parents and reduced social isolation.

Conclusions: Data from parent cohorts 1 and 2 identify that parents who have attended the parent education programme have found it beneficial, and that it has had a positive impact on their family life. Key areas of impact have been improvements in communication and improved management of sensory and behavioural issues. This supports the continued and wider provision of parent education within these countries. Further data from cohorts 3 and 4 will have been collected and analysed by the time of INSAR 2018.

Source: INSAR