On the 16th and 17th of December 2021, the partners of IPAT project – Integrative Parents’ Autism Training – met online for a two-day meeting. The meeting, virtually hosted by Autismo Burgos was planned to happen in Spain. Unfortunately, due to the increase of cases and
the worsening of the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the partnership was not able to travel, and the face-to-face meeting was replaced by efficient online sessions.
The Spanish partner, Autismo Burgos, did the honors and warmly welcomed the Consortium. The CEO of Autismo Burgos, Conchita Gárate opened the meeting by wishing all participants a two-day of fruitful meeting and underlining the importance of cooperation projects such as
IPAT is within the framework of what Autismo Burgos does daily in providing support to parents of children with autism. To deepen on the activities carried out by the host organization, Conchi Ramirez, project coordinator, showed some videos presenting what strategies, research tools, and support activities Autismo Burgos put in place through the several centers the organization runs. From employment services to the use of technology in research activities, Autismo Burgos is on the frontline in supporting people with autism and
The first day of the online transnational meeting covered three core topics in terms of the implementation of the IPAT project. The first session led by The Child and Adolescent’s Center, coordinator of the project and of the second intellectual output, focused on
reviewing the material of the eight meetings that constitute the IPAT module. The session was first opened by the presentation of the eight topics covered, the state of the art in the production of the material. Antonis Vadolas, the education coordinator at CAC, presented the
the overall idea of the module highlighting the importance of providing the parents who will attend the training not only with background knowledge but also with practical and experiential tools and activities that can engage them. The eight topics that will be covered
during the training are those that emerged from the needs analysis carried out during the research phase:
- What is autism
- Therapeutic approach
- Legal and ethical issues and rights
- The lived experience of the family
- Parent’s interaction with the child
- Social inclusion and autonomy
- Sexuality and
- Management of behaviors of concern.
The second part of the morning was dedicated to the discussion on the guidelines for moderators and the recruitment of parents. Autismo Burgos in collaboration with Controvento led the session and proposed some common points all piloting partners should follow to guarantee consistency in the activity and the following analysis. Among others, the motivation and commitment of parents in attending the training and the lack of parents’ previous experience in similar training were two main characteristics that should be present in a similar way in all the four countries. With regards to the moderators who will deliver the IPAT module, all the trainers will have at least 5 years of experience in the field and strong background knowledge on autism.
In the last session of the first day, the third intellectual output was introduced by Autismo Burgos. IO3 will serve as an online platform where parents will be able to attend digital self- training. Among the several available platforms, Moodle seemed to be the best candidate considering the aim of the format of the training in addition to the fact that it is one of the most known platforms for e-learning. The digital training will be based on the IPAT modules with the addition of some features that will ease the self-paced learning path.
On the second day of the IPAT second transnational online meeting, partners organizations had a chance to have a closer look at the activities carried out by Autismo Burgos with a special focus on the Miradas Screening Program aimed at the early identification of autism in children and two strategies of intervention implemented by Miradas Foundation such as IMPACT+ PACT. Following the workshop delivered by the Spanish partners, an international guest took the stage for a session extremely relevant for the IPAT project.
Noor Seghers from the University of Leuven introduced to the partners a best practice in working with parents of autistic children she is currently coordinating: the Magenta project. The project has produced a very practical and useful toolbox aimed at supporting parents in dealing with difficulties.
The second part of day 2 of the online meeting was devoted to the Steering Committee and the internal management of the IPAT project covering the procedures, the risk assessment and management plan, the communication plan, and finally the planning of the activities for
the following months. In February 2022 the IPAT training will be delivered in the four piloting countries where 64 parents in total will have the opportunity to attend the training that will run until June.
The IPAT-Integrative Parents ’Autism Training program is in the second phase of its implementation. The design and configuration of the educational material for the psychoeducation program (IPAT module) for parents of children with autism starting in January 2022 in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Turkey have been completed.