With the support of the Orange Foundation the recreation camp in Aparan hosts autistic children for the sixth year in a rowARCHIVE
With the support of Orange Foundation, for the sixth year in a row, autistic children from Yerevan and the regions of Armenia, accompanied by their caretakers and special educators, spend their summer holidays in the summer recreation camp in Aparan. Alongside the essential therapy the children enjoy their days full of various games, events and leisure time.
“During these six years of collaboration with “Arabkir” Charity Foundation we have been aiming at creating an environment that will foster the integration of autistic children into society. Summer camps are particularly important to achieve this goal, because here they spend the whole day with other children, learn together, play together and rest" said Aram Mkrtchyan, Orange Armenia Communications Director.
This year, within the frames of the project "Let's Help Autistic Children", Orange Foundation will also finance the development of a special mobile application, which will have Armenian, Russian and English language versions and will be the first Armenian language application created for autistic children as for Android, as well as for iOS platforms. Armenian software engineers, in collaboration with medical specialists, work on the development of the application. It will be mainly based on the method of picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), widely used in the world today to develop the communication skills of autistic children.
As a reminder, since 2010, special training courses for the medical staff, teachers, pupils and parents of autistic children have been conducted within the project "Let’s Help Autistic Children", with an objective to implement contemporary methods for early detection and intervention of autism, such as CHAT and ADOS tests, as well as raise awareness about autism.
An important component of the project “Let’s Help Autistic Children” is to promote the integration of children diagnosed with autism into society, by providing them with opportunities for vocational education. In 2013 and 2014 pilot experiments were conducted: two autistic children were able to get vocational education in the French-Armenian Vocational Educational Center in Yerevan.
A community-based comprehensive model of integrated services was established in 2014. The kindergarten and school in Malatia-Sebastia community were equipped with necessary equipment to meet the needs of autistic children.
Relevant training and experience sharing sessions were organized for mentors and teachers involved in the education of autistic children.
“It’s already the sixth year Orange Foundation has conducted this wonderful project which allows the creation of necessary conditions for social integration of children with autism and the improvement of their quality of life. We finally managed to break the stereotypes about autism that existed in our society. Thanks to the hard team work we managed to force the disorder to recede and we got the first positive results: We were able to treat, educate and provide jobs for autistic children. I would also like to mention that, alongside the special educators and psychologists, this year young people with autism volunteer in the summer recreation camp, who thanks to Orange Foundation, were enrolled in the camp in the previous years. The camp also provides a great opportunity to work not only with the children but with the parents, too. Thanks to individual and group work we were able to achieve the result that the majority of autistic children, alongside their peculiarities, were able to enroll into school education and society to a certain degree” noted professor Ara Babloyan, head of “Arabkir” medical complex, scientific advisor of Child and Adolescent Health Research Institute.