14 SES 04 A JS, Parents and Children with Autism: Lessons learned from Europe and Australia
Joint Paper Session NW 04 and NW 14
Traditional parenting styles are very often challenged by childhood disability, and autism spectrum disorders can often make parents feel deskilled and disempowered (Dunn et al., 2001). This is especially true when little information or support is available to them (Benjak, 2011), whereas providing accurate information and the education of parents on good practices in responding to the needs of their children has been shown to be effective in improving the lives of people with autism and families (Green et al., 2010; Kasari et al., 2010). Nevertheless, these kinds of support and opportunities are limited or non-existent in some parts of Europe, such as in the Balkans and south-eastern Europe (Demirok & Baglama, 2015; Stankova & Trajkovski, 2010; Delfos, 2010; Kulla & Gjedia, 2015; Salomone et al. 2015).
This paper reports on a three-year EU-funded project (September 2015-August 2018) in which family members, professionals and academics from five European countries (Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the United Kingdom) are working together in a strategic partnership in order to develop a core (but locally adjustable and appropriate) parent autism training curriculum, materials and methods, to provide parent education in three of these countries, and to share those with stakeholders across Europe. Specifically, the paper focuses on part of the evaluation of the project, in which the consortium aimed at analysing parents’ views on the training they received.
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