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Polish focus group evaluates ChildIN competence framework

Category : Meetings , News

On April 15 2019,  a focus group took place in Olsztyn, Poland. The focus group was organized to present the first draft of the Competence Framework to the relevant stakeholders so as to ensure that all aspects needed to make the learning modules effectively applicable are taken into account. Parallel to this, two other focus groups have also been set in France and in Portugal with the same objective.

The 12 participant of the ChildIN focus groups represented the following groups:

-Home-based childminders

-Families (parents and relatives) dealing with autism

-Autistic people

-VET providers

-Healthcare professionals

-Social partners

The participants were able to bring their comments to Competence Framework.

The Competence Framework will define knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy needed for home-based childminders dealing with children with autism spectrum disorder: it will also include the learning design (modules design completed with learning outcomes and assessment methods) to achieve defined competences.

Read more about the Focus Group in France

Read more about the Focus Group in Portugal

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ChildIN wraps up its pilot training sessions in France with an onsite event in Nevers

Category : News

On September 19 2020, fifteen childminders from the French Department of La Nièvre (in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté), participated at the ChildIN end-of-training certificate ceremony organised by the Departamental Council. 20 out of the 1,100 childminders of the Department have been trained on supporting inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorder thanks to the Erasmus+ project ChildIN.

On June 2020, ChildIN run its pilot training sessions in France order to acquire and improve chidminders’ skills to positively and effectively deal with children on the autism spectrum disorder and their families. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 35 hours training was fully delivered online, disregarding the 25 hours of face-to-face sessions that were planned initially.

More information

Established in 2018, the ChildIN project aims at providing specific blended training for childminders for children with special needs, by focusing on autism. The reason for this choice is related directly with the need expressed by the communities to which the partners of the consortium belong, and to a general need of Europe related to the increased diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children.

More information

„As there was no reference training on how to deal with autistic children in the field of childminding, we decided to create one”, said Fanny Da Silva, ChildIN partner from La Nièvre. “The number of people on the autism spectrum is constantly growing in France and it will soon explode,” says Alain Lassus, president of the Departmental Council and former doctor. „In 2018, it was one child out of 89, today it is one out of 86”, added Da Silva.

“We wanted to create a common base between the different countries involved in the project in order to have a European unity on the issue of dealing with autistic children”, reported Da Silva. Lassus said he is “proud to be able to create a local training course that will have a national and European scope.”

Trained childminder Martine Durand confessed at the awarding of her diploma that she “appreciates being able to benefit from this kind of training. Before, we often work with these different children, it’s good to know how to manage them.” Géraldine Brassier, also childminder and mother of two children on the autism spectrum, admitted to being “penniless”. “I understand how the parents concerned feel, I had a lot of difficulties too. This training will help me in my work and in my life.”

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20 childminders successfully trained on autism in France

Category : News

On June 2020, about twenty childminders from the French department of Nièvre (in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) took part in the ChildIN pilot training sessions in order to acquire and improve their skills to positively and effectively deal with children on the autism spectrum disorder and their families.

The pilot training was delivered by a trainer from INFA, a training organisation based in Nevers. In order to implement correctly the ChildIN training, this trainer attended the training of trainers’ sessions organized by ChildIN in Porto in November 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 35 hours training was fully delivered online, disregarding the 25 hours of face-to-face sessions that were planned initially. Due to this unexpected situation, some participants faced some problems of connectivity or lack of time and/or resources to follow the training properly. Thus, access to the online courses has been extended until 19 September 2020 to enable trainees to carry out all the e-learning activities in the best possible conditions.

Despite the difficulties encountered, the majority of the trainees were able to follow the online training and carry out the activities using a Moodle platform. Participants were motivated and involved, and their feedback on the teaching resources was very positive. Feedback from these pilot sessions, both positive and negative, will help to improve the ChildIN training programme for future implementations.

In order to close the training, childminders have been invited to the ChildIN end-of-training certificate ceremony on 19 September 2020. The event will take place in Nevers and each childminder will receive a certificate designed by the project consortium.

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Addressing COVID-19 anxieties: Resources for autistic youth, adults and parents

Category : News

The deconfinement measures introduced throughout Europe have fashioned new hurdles for autistic people and their families to overcome. In order to help autistic people and their families cope with anxieties around returning to everyday activities and social situations, ChildIN would like to share some relevant resources.   

In March 2020, countries across Europe and the globe announced confinement measures in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. During this period of confinement, autistic people faced significant challenges as they witnessed disruption in their routines and a lack of access to their usual services and care.

Since the number of new cases has been decreasing in Europe, many countries have begun introducing deconfinement measures. This change has presented a number of new challenges for people on the autism spectrum. The return to previous routines requires changing habits and an increase in exposure to social and sensory situations which can often be a source of anxiety and exhaustion for autistic people. A gradual re-introduction to everyday situations and activities can help with the adjustment and reduce apprehension.

Here below you can download two resources in French on coping with the deconfinement measures which are addressed to children, young people, adults, parents and other individuals on the autism spectrum. The aim of these documents is to help autistic people better navigate the difficulties that come with the easing of confinement. The documents include exercises to help manage emotional and psychological stress as well as exercises to help cope with changes in routine.

Guide pour un déconfinement serein: À destination des adolescents et adultes avec TSA

Livret D’accompagnement vers le deconfinement 

Sharing resources across Europe

ChildIN’s project partner Autism-Europe has put together a list of resources and tips in multiple European languages on how to deal with issues around COVID-19. The list includes resources to help cope with stress and uncertainty, social stories and visual guides, and other support initiatives, resources and tips from the autism community.

View the list of resources here

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ChildIN partners promote access to education on World Autism Awareness Day

Category : News

On World Autism Awareness Day (April 2), partners of the ChildIN project joined Autism-Europe’s two-year awareness raising campaign, “I can learn. I can work.” to promote access to education and employment for people on the autism spectrum. In line with the objectives of the ChildIN project, the campaign recognizes the importance of training child minders, as they play a key role in supporting children at an early age. On the day, project partners shared pictures of supporters holding the campaign’s logo and making the campaign gesture to illustrate that everyone in society has certain strengths that can be harnessed to progress in education and employment, and to recognise the importance of educational staff in supporting this process.

It is estimated that across the European Union less than 10% of people on the autism spectrum are employed, and lack of access to education is partly to blame. Indeed, many autistic learners are excluded of the education system as they experience a lack of understanding of their individual needs and of adapted support. In order to respond to the challenges many autistic people face when accessing education (including to university and vocational training) and employment, AE is conducting a Europe-wide awareness raising campaign from 2020-2021, together with its member associations across all Europe, and beyond.

Autism-Europe called on people to join the campaign and to help highlight the diversity of ability that society can nurture to be more inclusive. To raise awareness about the objectives of the campaign, AE encouraged supporters to carry out the campaign gesture – holding or using a tool which represents their skills. This gesture is a symbol of empowerment and anyone can participate, whether they are autistic or not, to show that no one should be excluded or discriminated against.

The campaign takes place at a critical time, as the EU is currently discussing the future EU Disability Strategy 2020- 2030, for which AE is advocating. The coming years will also see the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights that states that ‘everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market’.  It is therefore a key opportunity to make our voice heard and bring the needs of people on the autism spectrum to the forefront.

How can I support the campaign?

  • Find a tool that represents one of your skills;
  • Make a video/ GIF of yourself holding the tool (and maybe using it);
  • OR take a picture of yourself holding the tool (and maybe using it);
  • Share it on social media using the #AutismDay2020 hashtag or send it to Autism Europe via email

*Alternatively, you can just take a picture of yourself holding the visual of the campaign.

Click here for more information about the campaign

The official video of the campaign was created by Autism-Europe and aims to highlight that we can all contribute to the inclusion of autistic people. AE has also released a campaign toolkit that explains the objectives of the campaign and includes communication materials and strategies in more than 10 different languages, as well as an Easy-To-Read version.

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Professionals from across Europe are trained on autism and inclusive childminding in Porto

Category : News

From the 26th to the 29th November, 11 professionals from Poland, France, and Portugal gathered in the Cooperativa Comenius offices in Porto in the framework of the ChildIN “learning mobility days”.  The objective was to train the trainers on the ChildIN modules implementation and discuss the learning materials for trainers (the “Training kit”), developed during the first year of the project to improve caring and inclusion of autistic children by childminders and other Vocational and Educational Training (VET) players across Europe.

This short term activity allows staff of the trainers and/or the teachers of the VET organisations involved not only to apply appropriately methodologies in training, but also to collect, evaluate, and report efficiently and effectively on all data collected. This activity also leads to the development of the ChildIN Guideline, an online practical guide for training providers to sue the training materials provided by the project).

After having introduced the ChildIN project and its methodology, participants provided different approaches on how to implement the ChildIN training for childminders in the first half of 2020. Trainers have had also the opportunity to express their views and suggestions for improving the “Training kit” and reach a final version. However, some elements, as the ones related to the childminders’ evaluation, will be reviewed more in detail during the training implementation. Indeed, all the trainers were committed in the success of the project, as well as in the improvement of the training of childminders, and in the development of the support provided to autistic children and their families.

Throughout the first part of the project, the ChildIN partnership has been developing its Competence Framework and its Resources Database (available soon online). These materials have been the starting point for Comenius and APPDA for developing the « Training Manual » to be used in the test of the learning materials developed in the project.

Previous to these “learning mobility days”, 14 partners from Portugal, France, Poland, and Belgium met also at Comenius offices in to hold the third transnational meeting of the project. Latest project activities and developments, as well as preparations for the pilot sessions of the learning materials produced competence framework, were discussed.

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Porto hosts the third ChildIN transnational meeting

Category : News

On November 25 and 26 2019, 14 partners from Portugal, France, Poland, and Belgium met at the Academia Comenius offices in Porto to hold the third transnational meeting of the ChildIN project. Latest project activities and developments, as well as preparations for the pilot sessions of the learning materials produced competence framework, were discussed.

The meeting aimed at preparing the implementation of the ChildIN training for childminders on how to deal with autistic children to foster inclusion. Therefore, partners talked about the testing and validation of all the materials, as well as the national events to be held in France, Poland, and Portugal early in 2020.

For these national events, childminders and VET providers will be invited, together with other stakeholders such as autism professionals and organisations, policy-makers, journalists, parents, or people on the autism spectrum. These multiplier events are aiming at presenting the project and their outputs, specially the ChildIN training kit.

Other matters addressed at the meeting were the overall planning of the project, the development of the database, or the sustainability and disseminations plans, regarding the visibility and success of the project during its lifespan, and beyond.

This was the third of the foreseen five transnational meetings over the two-year lifespan of the project. ChildIN partners will meet again in June 2020 in Nevers, France.

Project milestones

During the first year of the project, partners have been working on the production of the competence framework, its related learning architecture, and on the development of a database of resources. The guidelines on how to use the ChildIN materials and the release of a policy brief are expected to be achieved to be achieved by July 2020.

More information about the outputs of the project

Training the trainers

After this meeting, future trainers attended the ChildIN learning mobility days. At this three-day session, ChildIN partners introduced the project and the learning materials in detail to participants from Portugal, France, and Poland. The childminders’ training will be accomplished by using a blended methodology, mixing face-to-face and online training sessions in a dynamic way.

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ChildIN presented to more than 2,200 autism experts at the 12th Autism-Europe International Congress in Nice

Category : News

From the 13 to the 15 of September 2019,ChildIN partner Autism-Europe held the 12th edition of its triannual International Congress in Nice, hosted by Autisme France. Autism-Europe‘s staff members had the opportunity to present the project at the organisations’ stands to more than 2,200 participants from more than 80 different countries.

The triennial event, organised this year in Nice by Autisme France in partnership with Autism-Europe, is dedicated to sharing advances in practical and scientific knowledge about autism to as wide an audience as possible.

People on the autism spectrum, researchers, practitioners, teachers and other interested parties submitted abstracts with the aim of exploring a broad range of perspectives, both theoretical and practical. Over 700 abstracts were received and during the selection process value has been placed on robust and well-evidenced knowledge, including academic research and professional, as well as personal and collective experience within key topic areas.

Zsuzsanna Szilvásy, President of Autism-Europe, said:

“The 2019 congress’ motto is “A new Dynamic for Change and Inclusion”, in keeping with our aspiration that international scientific research on autism should be translated into concrete changes and foster social inclusion for autistic people of all ages and needs. Our congresses therefore strive to be a place where all interested stakeholders can meet to exchange and reflect on how to shape better lives for autistic people”.

Danièle Langloys, President of Autisme France, said:

“We will be particularly pleased to welcome professionals and families from all over the world to discuss the challenges, the advances, both social and scientific. Diagnoses are still difficult or too late to obtain in many countries, and it is important to share the tools to improve them, as it is essential to develop the means of real inclusion for people with autism, at school and at work, in sports and leisure activities, and also to bring support to families”.

The congress addresses a wide range of issues, including: diagnostic and assessment, language and communication, access to education, employment, research and ethics, gender and sexuality, inclusion and community living, mental and physical health, interventions, strategic planning and coordination of services as well as rights and participation.

The conference will be held at the Congress Center Nice Acropolis. In the heart of Nice, just 7km from the Nice-Côte d’Azur International Airport, Acropolis ranks among the world’s most famous conference and exhibition centers.

Visit the official website of the Congress

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ChildIN holds its second transnational meeting in Olsztyn

Category : Meetings , News

On May 16 and 17, 14 partners from Portugal, Belgium and France travelled to Poland to hold the second transnational meeting of the ChildIN project in Olsztyn, hosted by project partners Techpal Sp. Z o.o.

At this meeting, the competence framework was presented. This deliverable defines knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy needed for home-based childminders dealing with children with autism spectrum disorders. This output aims at:

– defining core skills to be developed to support childminders in acquiring skills to positively and effectively deal with children diagnosed with autism and their families;

-defining learning outcomes, and learning units to develop identified skills;

-defining teaching and learning methods to achieve outcomes;

-ensuring that the design is compliant with ECVET/EQF principles, and provide advice on how to integrate them in existent frameworks;

-ensuring that the design is compliant with the EQAVET principles, in order to ensure quality of training;

-delivering the modules design, as learning architecture including all elements above mentioned, including general parts (care of children with special needs), and specific parts (autism related)

The output will be a substantial building block for the enhancement of a harmonized training provision for home-based childminders on specific topics, and will set the basis for an improved quality of the home-based care of autistic children: its transferability potential is very high, as the competence framework and learning architecture will be applicable in any country of Europe and beyond.

Furthermore, ChildIN partners provided some feedback for the different focus groups held in Poland, Portugal and France. They have also discussed other matters such as the criteria to build the ChildIN Database, the methodological approach for the training modules and the development of learning materials, and other aspects dealing with project management, dissemination and exploitation, quality or evaluation.

The meeting was also attended by some members of the Polish focus group of experts, such as Bozena Chrostowska, Professor of the Department of Social Pedagogics at the University of Warmia and Mazury and a mother of a person on the autism spectrum.

ChildIN partners will meet again in November 2019 in Oporto, Portugal. The project foresees five transnational meetings over its two-year lifespan.

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ChildIN Competence Framework evaluated in Coimbra

Category : Uncategorized

On April 29 2019, a group of 15 Portuguese parents, professionals and Vocational and Educational Training (VET) providers met in Coimbra to evaluate the ChildIN Competence Framework, aiming at defining the knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy needed for home-based childminders dealing with children on the autism spectrum. Parallel to this, two other focus groups have also been set in Poland and in France with the same objective.

At the end this activity, which takes the format of a focus group, the following points were highlighted:

A) the criticism of using the term „discovery interview”;

B) the importance of the management of parental expectations by the childminders;

C) the childminders’ scientific and technical knowledge about the autistic child;

D) the importance of autonomy in the childminders’ actions;

E) and the importance of the childminders’ emotional control.

The focus group was driven by Rui Pena, Paulo André and Marco Santos from Academia Comenius, and Elsa Vieira from APPDA Coimbra.

The Competence Framework will define knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy needed for home-based childminders dealing with children with autism spectrum disorder: it will also include the learning design (modules design completed with learning outcomes and assessment methods) to achieve defined competences.

Read more about the Focus Group in Poland

Read more about the Focus Group in France