The DcbCforAutism is another project that we present in our cycle "Project of the week". This is a joint initiative of the Common World Association for children and autistic youth established in Biała Podlaska and its partner from Belarus – the Education Department of the Leninsky District Administration of the City of Brest. The project "Development of cross-border cooperation in the field of assistance to people with autism on the Polish-Belarusian border" is implemented under the thematic objective SAFETY.
The problem identified in the project area is related to the growing number of children, youth and adults diagnosed with autism. Unfortunately, organizations dealing with autism, on the Polish-Belarusian borderland, do not have systemic solutions and do not receive adequate support. The key is the missing infrastructure, the lack of professionally trained staff, insufficient understanding of the problem of autism, and finally the poor integration of therapists, parents and children with autism. This problem requires a bottom-up approach.
More about the project can be found in an enclosed pdf file.
The project started on November 1st, 2019. The inaugural conference took place in January 2020 and gathered over 160 participants, including authorities, scientists and teachers dealing with development problems of children with autistic disorders. At the beginning of March, a four-day internship for Belarusian teachers working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was organized in Biała Podlaska. Participants learned about the methods and systems used by teachers and therapists from the Association "Common World". They also had the opportunity to learn how to use special equipment and teaching aids necessary to conduct therapeutic classes, how to develop individual therapeutic programs for people with autism, how to collect data and assess the effects of such programs. Other planned soft project activities, such as training for Belarusian teachers, events devoted to the European Autism Awareness Week in Biała Podlaska had to be postponed due to the situation of Covid-19.
A key element of the project activities on the Polish side - infrastructure construction works for children, young people and adults with autism are carried out without delay. The project involves the construction of two functionally connected buildings: a 'School preparing for employment' and an 'Environmental self-help house and training studios with the possibility of transforming into the house of permanent residence for adults with autism'. Both construction works are at an advanced stage. The following works were carried out: earthworks, foundations, basement/ground floor walls and structural ceiling, as well as reinforcement of buildings. Construction of the roof of the 'Environmental self-help house ...' was also completed. Currently, internal work is underway, followed by plumbing and electrical installation in the building. Meanwhile, the Belarusian partner has finalized the tender for construction works of the Special Centre for Assistance to Persons with ASD, and at the beginning of July the process of adaptation and renovation of the existing facility will begin.
According to the grant contract, the project should be completed by October 31st, 2021.
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