Autism or the Autism Spectrum disorders – ASD – are neurodevelopmental disorders with a range of clinical presentations, function and outcome. Individuals with autism present difficulties concerning verbal and non-verbal social communication and interaction and restrictive or repetitive interests, behaviours or movements. The severity of the challenges and the level of function may vary substantially, ranging from individuals necessitating limited support to persons with restricted autonomy.
The role of the family is crucial for meeting the needs of autistic persons globally: parents constitute the primary supportive and continuous care provision system while ensuring efficient collaboration with the health and education professionals caring for their child.
Raising a child with autism is stressful for the parents and the broader family.
Parental training is one of the factors enabling the optimal adaptation of parents to their child’s autism diagnosis, their ability to support the treatment and collaborate constructively with the respective.
- We aim to increase awareness about the role and the importance of the parental training in the global management of the needs of autistic people, to increase accessibility to effective training, to motivate parents to use a valid self -training approach at different stages of life, in order to advocate for the rights and social inclusion of autistic individuals and eliminating stigma .
- Parental training is known to provide knowledge about the autism spectrum disorders, to enhance parental skills, to decrease parental stress and improve the self-perceived quality of life.
The Objectives of our project are:
- To train parents with an autistic child, in order to decrease parental stress and improve their quality of life.
- To create an Integrative Parents’ Autism Training-IPAT module and a digital self -training Tool- IPATT, to be used by professionals and parents, respectively.
The needs assessment will incorporate the results from the literature review and the needs identified in the parents’ focus groups, to be held in all partner countries. An Integrative Parents’ Autism Training module –IPAT- will be developed and will be used for the creation of the training material and the Parents’ Training activity. The Activity consists of 24 training hours, delivered in sessions of 90-120’ over six months. Sixty-four parents of autistic individuals, from the 4 partner countries- Greece, Spain, Italy and Turkey – will participate in the Parents’ Training activity.
The content of the module will be adapted in order to develop the Integrative Parents’ Autism self- Training digital Tool – IPATT. The IPATT addresses the refreshment of already acquired knowledge and skills or the initiation to parental training. The 64 participants of the Parents’ Training Activity and 24 additional training naïve parents will test the IPATT. Measuring parental stress and the self-perceived quality of life before and after the Parents’ Training activity will enable the assessment of the short-term effectiveness of the IPAT Module. A participants ‘ satisfaction survey will measure their satisfaction with the Module and the self- Training digital Tool, as well as the perceived usefulness of the latter.