BACKGROUND: Teachers and other school staff are facing challenges in working with autistic children on everyday basis. Sometimes educators experience difficulties in finding the best methodologies and techniques working with autistic children and integrating them in mainstream classrooms. This project is aimed for teachers and other school staff to acquire new knowledge and skills in order to be able to work with autistic and mainstream children in a way that is advantageous for both of these groups. It will not only help teachers and other school based specialists to improve learning environment but also include autistic children in mainstream collective more effectively.
AIM: The aim of this project is to ensure teachers and school staff (assistants, speech therapists, social educator, special educator and others that are in any way involved in working with autistic children) with information, techniques, methods and practical skills in order to be able to include autistic children in mainstream classes the best way possible for them to be able to gain from school environment not only curriculum but also cooperation skills, problem solving skills and to increase their communicative abilities.
This project would not only be a great support for school staff but also a contribution in autistic children education.
As different countries use wide variety of methods and techniques in work with autistic children in mainstream classes it would be crucial to look at this matter in a broader way than just one country - Latvia. The aim is to include at least five countries and exchange teachers and staff experiences in between these countries. At the end of the project a conference is being planned in Latvia, many teachers in mainstream schools who face challenges of including autistic children in mainstream classes would be provided with new resources to improve their teaching quality and overall knowledge of autism from an international experience based perspective.
PARTICIPANTS: It is being planned to include at least five partners in this project from different countries - Iceland, United Kingdom, Estonia, Slovakia and Latvia. Selection process of partners is based on their experience in the field of including autistic children in mainstream classes. Only preschools and primary schools which had previous experience and which are including autistic children in mainstream classes at the moment of applying to the project will be selected. Previous cooperation partners will also be addressed to ask them if they would like to take part in this project.
ACTIVITIES: All partners will be asked to share their knowledge and practical skills in working with autistic children in mainstream classes through organizing short term joint staff training activities/master classes in their countries as well as participating in short term joint staff training events and master classes organized by partner organizations. Regularly project meetings will be held to plan coming up training activities, develop work sheets, questionnaires and other relevant documents for the project.
RESULTS AND IMPACT: The main outcome of this project is expected to be increased knowledge of school staff, especially teachers who work with autistic children. The knowledge would include different working techniques, methods and skills in order to improve autistic children inclusion process in mainstream schools. Results will be available for society on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, where newest information from seminars, master classes and every day project work will be published. And the main outcome will be a resource pack for educators in working with autistic children.