Promotion of knowledge about autism • Autyzm - Stowarzyszenie Pomocy Osobom Autystycznym

 Promotion of knowledge about autism 

1. Trainings: ‘Autism – how to help?’

THE LASTING PERIOD:
23th June -8th December, 2007

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
For majority of us autism is an unfamiliar, not known phenomena and even if we posses some kind of knowledge, it is often stereotyped and distorted. The best therapists are not sufficient to cater for the needs of an autistic child to develop. It is essential to remember that the first and most important therapists are parents and that is why it is crucial for them to posses essential knowledge in order to work with one’s own child. School is another natural environment for a child apart from the family and that is why it is also important for the teachers to posses the knowledge about autism on a high level. The association has been organizing all day trainings about autism for parents and teachers for a few years. The offer is directed to new members of our organization. There were two trainings in 2007.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
The trainings were directed by Katarzyna Bartkowiak and Małgorzata Grygiel – who posses a great knowledge and practical experience of working with autistic people as well as proper didactic preparation. Each time the training consisted of two parts: lecture and workshops. The classes were on such subjects: The actual knowledge about autism; Sensory distortions present in people with autism; How the autistic people perceive the world”; Main assumptions of the therapy and education of the people with autism.

RESULTS:
There were 40 people trained altogether: parents, siblings and teachers of autistic people. Destroying stereotypes, motivating to work, pointing to the methods of therapy and helping to understand the world in which the autistic child lives – these are the most important results of the undertaken activities.

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

2. Autistically skilled. Volunteer work with passion

THE LASTING PERIOD:
April – July, 2007

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
The specialists encourage to work with an autistic person for about 40 hours a week, it is connected with huge financial outlay, parents’ overloading and these are the parents who are mainly responsible for rehabilitation. Another problem is also with the lack of qualified staff. The answer for the above difficulties might be largely a work of properly prepared volunteers who simultaneously can gain huge experience and the feeling of participating in really important matters. Unfortunately, good will is not enough, the work with an autistic person needs not only mental predispositions but also knowledge of the subject matter and workshop’s preparations. Using the potential and urge of the young people, mainly the students of the University of Zielona Góra, we have formed a group which has subsequently received accurate preparation to become volunteers who look after autistic people.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
Within the framework of the project we realized a cycle of five trainings led by two therapists employed in our organization who not only posses a great knowledge but also indispensable experience. Each of the training lasted for five hours. The classes were held throughout a few months and the scope of the subjects is: Basic knowledge about autism: Methods and techniques of educational-therapist work – survey; Educational Kinesiology by Paul Dennison, Developmental Movement by Veronica Sherborne; music therapy, artetherapy and polysensory stimulation; TEACCH program, The Method of a Good Start and alternative communication methods. The summary of the cycles of the trainings. There were about 15 people participating in each of the training.

RESULTS:
The realisation of the task let us form a team of volunteers prepared for work with autistic people. Moreover:
- the volunteers became equipped with new skills and experiences;
- the idea of volunteer work was promoted among other nongovernmental organizations;
- with the low financial outlay the scope of our therapist offerwas developed, the effectiveness of it has been increased;
- the social awareness about autism and its specificity has been raised. Thanks to the promotion of the project in the media and volunteers’ social contacts the association has gained on credibility in the eyes of local society.

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
Town Council of Zielona Góra within the framework of the contest for nongovernmental organizations

3. Autistically skilled. Common business

THE LASTING PERIOD:
September 2007 – February 2008

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
According to statistics the incidence of autism is 1 in 10.000, meanwhile throughout a few years 6 boys struggling with this disease were born at the territory of Brody and surrounding localities. The causes of this worrying phenomenon are not known. Huge suffering, for the closest as well, social isolation, lack of specialist help – mothers of the autistic children from Brody and surrounding localities did not want to reconcile themselves to these worrying phenomena. Such was the beginning of the project Autistically Skiled, Common business – a campaign promoting the knowledge about autism in Brody and surrounding localities. Main originators and executers of the campaign are mothers of autistic children.
In the contest created by AXA group for nongovernmental organizations entitled “We support mums” – only 9 out of 122 projects from all over Poland were financed, among others the project formed by The Autistic People Help Association “Together forward”

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
Our project in 2007:
- Educational fete ‘Autism’s Day in Górzyn”;
- The internet service including, among others, news, educational materials, blog;
- The program of cooperation with volunteers;
- Workshops exhibiting the world of autistic people – for the administrators and youth;
- Consultations with a psychologist for Mums of the autistic children from Brody and surrounding localities;
- Self-assertiveness workshops for all eager mums;
- Educational meetings with school youth.

RESULTS:
Joining into the organization for autistic people different social groups among others the community of Brody, school, library, area of a number of villages in Górzyn. Removing social barriers, raising awareness on autism, creating empathy and tolerance attitudes. Personal development and boost in the feeling of one’s worth of mums of the autistic children.

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
AXA group within the framework of a social program „AXA – We support mums”

PARTNERS:
Commune Council of Brody, Positive Communication Foundation
MEDIA PATRONAGE:
TVP3 Lubuska, Radio Zachód, Gazeta Lubuska

DETAILED INFORMATION:
www.autyzm.zgora.pl/wspolna-sprawa

4. European Autism Week 2007

THE LASTING PERIOD:
1st-8th December, 2007

THE BACKGROUND OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROJECT:
Each year the first week of December is celebrated all over the continent as a European Autism Week. For the nongovernmental organizations such as ours it is a chance to focus the attention of ‘ordinary citizens’ on the not easy everyday life of the autistic people and their families. Thanks to a greater interest from the Media our voice is better heard in this period. In the care of the children under our charge APHA “Together Forward” realized a range of actions at the territory of Zielona Góra, Nowa Sól, Brody, Lubsko and Gubin. The whole idea of the venture was based on taking the advantage of the energy of young people who had been co-organizers of the European Autism Week but also main receivers of our activities. We used the potential of the contacts established with the institutions (schools, local authorities, University authorities, the media).

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIE:
The project was very diverse not only because of the great number of localities in which we worked but also thanks to a great number of means of expression. We were helping the receivers of the venture to see, touch, hear, understand and feel the world of autistic people, in return for that they answered our invitation. Basically, ETA 2007 in our realization is: photo exhibition, the hall of experiencing autism, the evening with works of art inspired by autism, activities in schools and supermarkets, a seminar for the students of the University of Zielona Góra, the internet service and a campaign of gathering signatures to a petition directed to the government.

RESULTS:
With the proposals of our venture we reached a wide group of the inhabitants of Lubusz Voivodeship in a different way, through which the knowledge about autism has dramatically increased. The campaign of gathering signatures to a petition against discrimination of autistic people was the evidence for that our local society was thirsty for knowledge but also eager to fight in some kind of a form for the rights of the children of the APHA “Together forward”. The seminar part of the venture was directed to the students of pedagogical specializations – about 120 students took part in a three-hour seminar led, among others, by a professor Joanna Kruk-Laskocka. Thanks to ‘The Hall of Experiencing Autism’ realized during the academic classes the students were acquainted with the therapy methods, they received a dose of wide knowledge about autism. Through the workshop trainings young people could experience sensory distortions with which autistic people have to deal with in their everyday life. The workshops were led by a therapist Katarzyna Stein and the volunteers, during 29 hours and 30 minutes of work 330 students were trained. The important result of realization of Autism Week was elicitation of parents of autistic people – through art or organizational work. We have also established closer relations with a range of institutions in the whole region. A long-term effect of our project will be the increase in tolerance toward our organization. We are also happy because of the interest in the project of young people from High Schools of Gubin, Nowa Sól and Lubsko.

FINANCIAL SOURCES:
Volunteers’ work, own financial means, goods donations

PARTNERS:
MAIN PARTNER: Positive Communication Foundation
INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS: The Institution of Social Welfare, Social Therapy and Prevention – Univesity of Zielona Góra;
General High School named Bolesław Prus in Gubin;
Joint Agricultural High Schools in Gubin;
Joint High Schools and Joint Economic High Schools in Lubsko;
General High School named K. K. Baczyński in Nowa Sól;
Students’ Dance Theatre
BUSINESS PARTNERS:
‘Carrefour’ Zielona Góra; CTI Internet Technologies Centre; Chilliproject;
‘Pod Aniołami’ Café in Zielona Góra; a supermarket ‘Rondo” in Gubin; ‘RAMKI’ Anna Hadziacka; ‘Jefferson's’ restaurant In Zielona Góra
MEDIA PATRONAGE:
‘Gazeta Lubuska’

VOLUNTEERS:
30 people: therapists and the workers of APHA ‘Together forward’, the parents of autistic people, students, University lecturers, teachers and High School youth

DETAILED INFORMATION:
www.tydzien.zgora.pl

 
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