We empower professionals and parents to help them give children with special needs the best start in life. Our Early intervention services are designed to provide families of children with special needs with the support and resources needed to maximise the child’s potential. Children who benefit from early intervention services are better prepared for entering preschool and primary school.
The success of our mission to improve the lives of children and young people with special needs depends to a large extent on the knowledge and capacities of those who are involved in raising and teaching them – parents and teachers. We need skilled, trained and well-informed parents and teachers to ensure that they can give children the best possible start in life and enable them to thrive in the future. This is why we make it our priority to continue investing resources in running specialist training programmes for professionals and parents who work with children with special needs.
The Foundation is developing a network of free early intervention services in Moscow, St Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Tula and Tver. Thanks to the project, kids with autism, cerebral palsy and other special needs are able to go to preschool and school, learn new things and socialise with their peers.
We are working in:
– Nine preschools and centres in St Petersburg
– Five preschools in Moscow
– A lekotek in Tver
– An Early Intervention Centre, the Naked Heart Family Support Centre and four preschools in Nizhny Novgorod
– A lekotek at the “Sodeistvie” charity centre in Tula
Supporting children with autism
Studies have shown that intensive early intervention programmes for children with autism produce good results. They help kids become more successful and develop skills they will need in later life. We develop a support system for preschool children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To that end, we launched our signature projects in Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow and Saint Petersburg and also continued to finance our partner organisations in Tver and Tula.
Our Early Intervention Centre in Nizhny Novgorod was the first facility in Russia to introduce the ASSERT support programme for children with autism, which was developed at Utah State University and is now being used in preschools in Nizhny Novgorod and at our Family Support Centre. We are also actively training staff from preschool establishments in St Petersburg and Moscow. Find out more about ASSERT here.
For several years, the Foundation has been delivering the EarlyBird training programme for parents raising children with autism. Developed by the UK National Autistic Society, this programme is aimed at parents who have recently discovered that their child has autism. It helps them to:
– Learn more about the condition and nd out about practical steps for achieving better communication with their children and better behavioural management.
– Network and work together with other parents to nd the best solutions for
the problems they face. This approach combines the advantages of group work (six families per group) and individual consultations (carried out by programme specialists during home visits).
– Change their verbal communication, analyse their child’s behaviour and use visual aids.
Naked Heart experts, clinical psychologist Tatiana Morozova and child neurologist Svaytoslav Dovbnya, are the only o cially certi ed coaches authorised to deliver this training in Russia. They are also the sole holders of a license allowing them to adapt the training programme to the Russian context, making it more e ective and relevant for participants.
The training is delivered free of charge, including to representatives of other non-pro t and non-governmental organisations who commit to hold free training sessions in future for parents raising children with autism.
Supporting children with cerebral palsy
We work with specialists from Tula-based organisation the Centre for Child Psychoneurology and help them implement evidence-based methods of work. Find out more.
We believe that every child should go to school. Children with autism may find it more difficult to sit in a classroom, concentrate, complete school tasks and communicate with their classmates. Therefore, we since 2013 we have been educating teachers about special methods of working with such children.
We create a network of family support services for children with special needs and their families. Naked Heart Family Support Centre provides combined psychological, educational, social, legal, therapeutic, and other professional assistance.
Our annual international "Every Child Deserves a Family" forum is a unique platform for dialogue between Russian and foreign child development experts, which allows representatives from various regions of Russia to exchange views and experience. It is also a step forward towards developing a professional community in Russia.
We support projects to run summer and autumn integrative camps for children with special needs. Such camps create an environment in which children can relax emotionally, recover their health, have much-needed new experiences and communicate in a variety of different ways.
We are supporting projects run by the legal department of the Centre for Curative Pedagogics in Moscow, and relevant projects run by other organisations, aimed at ensuring the rights of children with disabilities and raising legal awareness among parents and specialists working in the field.
It is impossible to solve the problems of families with disabled children without changing the attitudes of society and the state. That’s why one of the Foundations most important activities is advocacy.
The Naked Heart Foundation is currently working to create fully-equipped sensory integration and occupational therapy rooms for children with autism and other developmental disorders, with the aim of teaching those children coping mechanisms and enabling them to reach their full potential.
The objective of our interactive online seminars is to introduce people to up-to-date, proven methods of working with people with disabilities. They are held on a regular basis and cover topics such as autism, communication and foster care. The webinars are aimed primarily at the Russian audience.
The aim of this project is to support NGOs that provide psychological, medical, therapeutic and social support for children with disabilities and their families; families intending to adopt, take guardianship of, or foster a child with disabilities; and disadvantaged families or families in crisis.
By funding the advocacy and service-delivery programmes implemented by our partner non-pro ts and NGOs across Russia, we expand our reach and help improve more people’s lives faster and more efficiently.