The Naked Heart Foundation is continuing to spread knowledge about working with children with autism and it expanding its inclusive and special education project in Nizhny Novgorod, Tula, Tver, Chelyabinsk and St Petersburg.
We believe that every child should go to school, make friends and be a part of society. Children with autism may find it more difficult to sit in a classroom, concentrate, complete school tasks and communicate with their classmates. Therefore, we educate teachers about special methods of working with such children. We want specialists to be aware of modern, evidence-based methods of work, to share their knowledge with colleagues and to have access to training and seminars with international experts.
Thanks to the efforts of the Naked Heart Foundation, 239 children with special needs are continuing to attend school, and 71 newly-trained teachers are working with them.
Watch this video to find out how the project has transformed the lives of children and their parents:
We want even more teachers to learn how to work with children with autism and find out which methods they should use to help the children communicate, concentrate and absorb information. That’s why we are continuing with the project and expanding Russia’s professional community. We only use evidence-based methods that have proven effective.
What have we done this year?
So that even more children with autism can learn and make friends, the most successful project participants are now sharing their knowledge and experience with teachers from other schools. Over the past four years, school staff members have accumulated enough knowledge and experience to share it with others.
Moreover, a further two schools in Nizhny Novgorod joined the project this academic year. Their staff are also receiving much-needed knowledge about working with children with autism spectrum disorders.
The project participants have an opportunity to find out about the new methods during training sessions. The main focuses of these sessions are: behavioural analysis, visual support and the selection of an appropriate communication system. The work relating to behaviour and communication is very new for the teachers and school services. It helps children feel more comfortable in the classroom, follow the school routine, listen, complete the tasks set by the teacher and participate in the educational process. These elements serve as a basis for the successful teaching of children with ASD. As well as teachers, we also train school speech therapists and psychologists to work with such children.
The expansion of Russia’s professional community and the dissemination of knowledge about evidence-based methods of work are extremely important. In October, representatives of eight educational institutions, including head-teachers participating in the Naked Heart Foundation project in Nizhny Novgorod, attended a training session at School No. 46 in St Petersburg. The purpose of the trip was to illustrate how modern methods of working with children with ASD can be reflected in the child’s Individual Education Plan. The participants also observed the use of high-tech communication methods.
Who else is taking part in the school project?
Since 2013, project coordinators from the Naked Heart Family Support Centre have been supervising the schools involved in the project. The impressive results that have been achieved are in many ways the product of the continuity of the educational process. Today, staff at the Family Support Centre are the project’s primary supervisors and conduct seminars for teachers and other school staff.
Why is it important?
Often, teachers do not have the skills and knowledge required to work effectively with children with special needs, and therefore are unable to help children who find it hard communicating with their peers and adapting to new environments. As a result, most children with special needs do not attend school and become very isolated.
We are working to change this situation and make education accessible to everyone, regardless of any special needs they might have. The project aims to ensure that children with autism receive qualified support that helps them learn, participate in school activities and socialise.
>>> Read about the results of our work in schools in Nizhny Novgorod…
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