Family support • Autyzm - Stowarzyszenie Pomocy Osobom Autystycznym

 Family support 

1. A group of support for parents

THE LASTING PERIOD:
Once a month for three hours throughout the whole year (except for holidays)

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
Autism and all the indispositions connected with it is also or maybe most of all the suffering of the caretakers of the autistic person. Autism causes protracted and long-drawn-out burden of parents, physical and mental exhaustion. Meanwhile, a good psychical condition of the parents is not only the way to increase the quality of life but also a condition of the successful realization of the therapy of a child. The parent as first and the most important therapist needs  special psychological support.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
The parents meet and regularly talk about particular challenges, which child’s autism brings to the family; the activities are run by an experienced psychologist Tadeusz Pisarczyk. The awareness that other people struggle with similar difficulties and that they can fight them gives more strength. In the group of support everybody is simultaneously a therapist for one another. The value of a group is especially important in the moments of crisis the parents go through from time to time.

RESULTS:
A few or more people take part in the meetings each time. The feeling of belonging to a group, the possibility of discharging negative emotions, getting stronger and restoring the faith – these are the most important results that are achieved thanks to functioning of the group of support. The important thing is also that the relations that are built between parents in the group “Family Support” develop and lead to real friendship.

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
The National Handicapped People Rehabilitation Fund within the framework of Partner Program 2006

2. Children’s Day 2007

THE LASTING PERIOD:
16th June, 2007

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
‘Children’s Day’ is an event that has been regularly organized by the association for a few years. Play and integration are the basic assumptions of the meeting. In relation to the development of the organization the number of the participants of the activity has been increasing regularly and its organization has already become impossible without participation of the volunteers.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
The parents, siblings and autistic children from the whole region took part in a three-hour meeting in the countryside. The event took place at the territory of Provincial Centre of Sport and Recreation in Drzonków. Roasting sausages, carriage rides, reward competitions – these are basic attractions. Each child present at the event received a package of presents. A huge enthusiasm was especially visible during the physical activities that preoccupied whole families.

RESULTS:
‘Children’s Day’ is not only joy for the kids – the chance for integration of the siblings, but also the opportunity for the associated parents to get to know one another better and simply the opportunity to rest. The activities in the countryside in the new environment in which many people take part in are a chance for the autistic people to train social functioning skills. The autistic children cannot play spontaneously, such a trip is also a chance for the development of this skill. About 60 people altogether took part in the three-hour meeting.

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
The National Handicapped People Rehabilitation Fund within the framework of Partner Program 2006
Polish Oil Mining and Gas Industry JSC in Warsaw with a branch in Zielona Góra within the framework of sponsoring

VOLUNTEERS:
9 people: students of pedagogical specializations at the University of Zielona Góra

3. The meeting with Santa Claus 2007

THE LASTING PERIOD:
1st December, 2007

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
Children with autism hardly ever have the opportunity to have parties where they and their parents can feel at ease. We wanted to ensure the members of our association the meeting during which the children would feel special and their parents could find some time for integration and talks about the activity of the association or to share their experience.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
- The party was held in the hall of the cinema ‘Newa’, which had been decorated especially for that event in order to create a pleasant Christmas atmosphere.
- Children received packages with presents from Santa Claus himself.
- The concert prepared by Students’ ‘Schola’ at Saint Joseph’s Church was a huge attraction and it created a family atmosphere through beautiful songs about winter and Christmas time. It highlighted the splendor of the moments enabling integration and common understanding.
- Culture Animator Association ‘Vaganti’ prepared a performance, which has met with a great excitement of the children.
- Children were of course actively joined into the party, their task was to create a portrait of their feelings and translating them into a painting in order to give thanks to Santa Claus for the packages he had prepared for them, to ‘Vaganti’ for their hard work with the performance and to ‘Schola’ that sang beautifully especially for them.

RESULTS:
- Ensuring attractions to the children through play and presents.
- Integration of the members of the association.
- Publicity of the activities of the association in the media.
About 80 people altogether took part in a three-hour meeting

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
The National Handicapped People Rehabilitation Fund within the framework of Partner Program 2006
Private companies within the framework of sponsoring: STG tiles, baker’s Grono, wholesale firm of Norimpex toys, Bozon studio, Job Portal.

PARTNERS:
Culture Animator Association ‘Vaganti’, Students’ ‘Schola’ at Saint Joseph’s Church in Zielona Góra

VOLUNTEERS:
7 people: students of pedagogical specializations at the University of Zielona Góra

4. Integrational-therapist trips for autistic children and their families

THE LASTING PERIOD:
July – October, 2007
Including a stay in Lubiatów: 31.08-02.09.2007 and 21-23.09.2007

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
One of the basic problems of autistic parents is lack of possibility to have a rest which is indispensable to maintain physical and mental health. Our ‘associated’ parents find it much more difficult to make contacts with others, to go to the cinema, meet friends. Alienation, the feeling of loneliness – is also an important element of everyday life of the families of autistic people. Being aware of the fact that there are more people who share similar problems, when there is a possibility to share one’s emotions knowing that one will be understood – a man can grow in strength. It is important not only for the parents but also for the siblings of autistic people. A trip to Lubiatów was also a chance for the realization of the elements of the therapy realized by specialists of ‘APHA Together Forward’ and volunteers.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
The scenario of both of the trips was similar and the basic points of a three-day stay in relaxation centre ‘Sabat’ in Lubiatów at the Sławskie lake.are:
- a visit at ‘Haleszek’s ranch’: horse riding, horse trams, sports plays, visiting a mini zoo,
- dancing party,
- voyage,
- art workshops,
- roasting sausages, singing and guitar playing,
- a trip to Sława,
- work with a psychologist,
- consultations with a sensory integration therapist.

RESULTS:
In both trips to Lubiatów there were altogether 112 people who went there. The realization of the project:’ Integrational-therapist trips for autistic children and their families’ led to the achievement of the results below:
1. The improvement of psycho-physical skills of autistic children, the therapy of autistic children and of their siblings through participation in integration plays and individual horse riding.
2. The acquisition of the ability to function in a huge group, the meeting of autistic children with a ‘normal’ world beyond the one that is known to them at home.
3. The integration of the autistic children with healthy children, formation of lasting friendly relationships.
4. The integration and elicitation of the parents, forming closer relations, group therapy, the improvement of mental health of the parents, the boost in self-esteem and the feeling of one’s confidence.
5. The mental barriers among the autistic families concerning talking about their problems have been removed. – the active participation of lots of people in the project is the evidence for that, as well as the words of gratitude of the parents directed at the administrators of the project and positive opinions included in the evaluation questionnaires.
6. Social engagement through the work of volunteers – students. Promotion of volunteer work through the participation of a volunteer from ‘DHL Polska’ company in the project.

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
Women, Family and Discrimination Prevention Department in the Ministry of Work and Social Politics within the framework of grants competition for the non-governmental institutions.
 “DHL Polska” within the framework of the volunteer work program.

VOLUNTEERS:
12 people: students of pedagogical specializations and a volunteer representing “DHL Polska”

DETAILED INFORMATION:
www.autyzm.zgora.pl/id.10028

 
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