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ChildIN trainers begin their second round of virtual training sessions in Portugal

Category : News

On 3 October 2020, 11 trainers from France, Poland and Portugal attended a meeting to kick off the second round of virtual pilot trainings on autism and inclusive childminding. These trainings, moderated by the Cooperativa Comenius in Porto, follow the first round of pilot trainings which took place in the spring of 2020 and will be ongoing until the end of November.

The objective of the trainings is to prepare trainers for testing the “Training Kit” developed in the framework of the ChildIN project. The Training kit is based on learning materials developed for childminders and other Vocational and Educational Training (VET) players across Europe and is designed to improve caring and the inclusion of autistic children.

At the meeting, the learning materials for the Training Kit were reviewed and trainers had the opportunity to express their suggestions for developing the kit further. The next steps of the production of the Training Kit were discussed and the trainers expressed their enthusiasm for the project and the testing phase.

Over the course of the training, trainers will complete a total of 50 hours, of which 20 hours will be online, including videoconferences, and 30 hours of self-study with the materials available on the ChildIN online platform.

At this time, pilot trainings are also taking place in Poland.


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ChildIN releases a free database of more than 200 resources on autism spectrum disorder

Category : News

As additional support for childminders, Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers and families, the ChildIN project makes available a free online database of resources on autism including reasoned description, assessed on the basis of their value in terms of learning quality, safety (this applies particularly to online games for autistic children), scientific soundness and community inclusion. These three dimensions has been assessed on the basis of a matrix designed jointly by the ChildIN partnership, that possesses high competences in all explored areas.


To date, the database counts with more than 200 resources in English, French, Polish and Portuguese, classified in the following main categories:

-Autism specificities

-Selected issues related to autism

-Education

-Care

-Others (like sexuality, self-awareness or family)

The database is also intended as a tool to ensure also sustainability and easy updating of the ChildIN training content after the project ending: as methods and techniques, but particularly game-based provisions, change over time, this tool will allow to find updated resources at any time, according to the needs. The database will be updated until the end of the project (April 2021).

The database is accessible on the project dedicated website:


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ChildIN holds its fourth partner meeting online due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Category : Meetings , News

Postponed from May to October 2020, the fourth transnational meeting of the ChildIN project was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting, which should have taken place in Nevers hosted by the Conseil départemental de la Nièvre, was attended by 13 partners from France, Belgium, Poland and Portugal.

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 6-months extension was requested to the Erasmus+ National Agency in order to have enough time to implement all the ongoing and pending activities. More concretely, since the pandemic was declared just before the planned start of the training delivery, several options were and are being implemented to replace when necessary blended training, mainly 100% distance learning, including both tele-learning with trainers and online learning at the Moodle platform.

This two-day meeting includes discussions on the latest developments of the different project outputs (the database of resources, the training modules, the practical guide for training providers, and the policy brief). In addition, partners held some sessions about different transversal activities and internal deliverables of the project, such as evaluation and quality, dissemination and exploitation, or sustainability.

As the steps of the project, Poland will run pilot training sessions of ChildIN from the beginning in October and November 2020. On the same dates, Portugal will hold the second round of pilot training sessions.

This was the fourth of the foreseen five transnational meetings over the two-year lifespan of the project. The project partnership will meet again online at the beginning of November 2020. The final transnational project meeting and the final conference planned in Brussels have been also postponed from October 2020 to early 2021. In case the evolution of the pandemic worsens, the partners will call again on their resilience and also their imagination in order to propose a relevant and interesting format for those events and meet thus the project objectives at best possible.


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A message from the project coordinators- October 2020

Category : Uncategorized

Nobody imagined early this year that a worldwide pandemic will turn upside down our daily routines. Several months have passed now and ChildIN partners have widely demonstrated resilience and commitment to continue with the project activities despite all. Monthly online meetings were already usual, but they enabled more than ever to be in contact and to discuss the best solution for each partner.

First of all, a 6-months extension was requested in order to have enough time to implement all the ongoing and pending activities. More concretely, since the pandemic was declared just before the planned start of the training delivery, several options were and are being implemented to replace when necessary blended training, mainly 100% distance learning, including both tele-learning with trainers and online learning at the Moodle platform.

Besides the training delivery, a face-to-face meeting was planned in June in Nevers (France), then postponed to October, and lastly transformed into an online meeting.

Last but not least, the final meeting and the final conference planned in Brussels have been also postponed from October 2020 to early 2021. In case the evolution of the pandemic worsens, the partners will call again on their resilience and also their imagination in order to propose a relevant and interesting format for those events and meet thus the project objectives at best possible.


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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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ChildIN kicks off its pilot training sessions in Portugal

Category : News

Between May and July 2020, eight Portuguese childminders successfully completed the first pilot training of the ChildIN project, delivered by Academia Comenius and APPDA Coimbra despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the schedule and on the workflow of the sessions.

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. Nevertheless, the first and the last training sessions were in the form of a videoconference. The opening conference was hosted by Rui Pena and Marco Santos from Academia Comenius, and was attended by 12 trainees and three trainers (Ana Monteiro, Ana Vieira – who attended the training of trainers’ sessions in Porto in November 2019- and Micaela Rocha from APPDA Coimbra). Concerning the learners’ background, some of them already have experience in dealing with people and children on the autism spectrum, which facilitated not only the exchange of knowledge and dynamism during video conferences, but also their participations in the forum and in their responses to the proposed activities.

Portugal to hold a second round from October 2020

Portuguese partners will deliver a second round of pilot training sessions from the beginning of October to the end of November 2020. This second round will count with a total of 50 hours, of which 20 hours will be online, including videoconferences, and 30 hours of self-study with the materials available on the ChildIN online platform. These sessions target childminders (in Portuguese: “amas”), non-teaching staff of schools and other educational settings (in Portuguese: “Auxiliares de ação educativa”) babysitters, and all professionals interested in knowing the specificities and the care to be provided to children and young people with autism.

Between May and July 2020, eight Portuguese childminders successfully completed the first pilot training of the ChildIN project, delivered by Academia Comenius and APPDA Coimbra despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the schedule and on the workflow of the sessions.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 35 hours of training was fully delivered online, disregarding the 25 hours of face-to-face sessions that were planned initially. Nevertheless, the first and the last training sessions were in the form of a videoconference. The opening conference was hosted by Rui Pena and Marco Santos from Academia Comenius and was attended by 12 trainees and three trainers (Ana Monteiro, Ana Vieira – who attended the training of trainers’ sessions in Porto in November 2019- and Micaela Rocha from APPDA Coimbra). Concerning the learners’ background, some of them already have experience in dealing with people and children on the autism spectrum, which facilitated not only the exchange of knowledge and dynamism during video conferences but also their participation in the forum and in their responses to the proposed activities.

Portugal to hold a second round from October 2020

Portuguese partners will deliver a second round of pilot training sessions from the beginning of October to the end of November 2020. This second round will count with a total of 50 hours, of which 20 hours will be online, including videoconferences, and 30 hours of self-study with the materials available on the ChildIN online platform. These sessions target childminders (in Portuguese: “amas”), non-teaching staff of schools and other educational settings (in Portuguese: “Auxiliares de ação educativa”) babysitters, and all professionals interested in knowing the specificities and the care to be provided to children and young people with autism.

After the end of this second pilot training, all Portuguese trainees are invited to the ChildIN closing event and end-of-training certificate ceremony, where they will receive a certificate designed by the project consortium. This ceremony will be complementary to the launching event held in Coimbra, in March 2019.

After the end of this second pilot training, all Portuguese trainees are invited to the ChildIN closing event and end-of-training certificate ceremony, where they will receive a certificate designed by the project consortium. This ceremony will be complementary to the launching event held in Coimbra, in March 2019.


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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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Coimbra holds the first launching event of ChildIN

Category : News

On March 4, 2020, the ChildIN project held its first launching event in Coimbra (Portugal) in order to raise awareness on autism among childminders and training providers. Organised by project partners Academia Comenius and APPDA Coimbra, this event was an opportunity to present the ChildIN training materials, as well as discuss with representatives of the Portuguese autism community the challenges faced by autistic children and their families, and how it is possible to improve their quality of life through education.

The event counts with the participation of Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, special education teachers, psychologists, researchers, academics, and a representative of the “Social Security Institute” (in Portuguese “Instituto da Segurança Social”).

Some of the topics addressed at the round table by the participants were:

the importance of providing training on autism for professionals to support the inclusion of autistic people and their families; the options available in Portugal to the family of a new child diagnosed child;  the way the non-teaching staff of schools deals with children on the autism spectrum; the importance of having childminders trained on autism spectrum disorders; the openness of educational centers to taking into account the needs and specificities of children with special educational needs; or what can be done to disseminate more successfully the ChildIN project across schools.

Participants also suggested incorporating other topics into the ChildIN training, such as human rights and the rights of people on the autism spectrum; sessions addressed to the non-teaching personnel working in schools; or early diagnosis and early intervention.

This event was held prior to the first round of pilot training sessions of ChildIN in Portugal. After the end of the second pilot training, planned November 2020, all Portuguese trainees will be invited to the ChildIN closing event and end-of-training certificate ceremony, where they will receive a certificate designed by the project consortium.