Presently, the Foundation’s network is made up of the following services:
- Diagnostic service;
- Rehabilitation and parent training services;
- Educational school-orientated and extra-curricula orientated services;
- Respite programmes (“Respite Villa”);
- Working programmes and programmes for autonomy, professional mosaic, information technology and packaging laboratories (“Art Workshop”);
- “Live the City” Programme for temporary residency and social inclusion;
- Training services and consultancy;
- Cultural, information, reporting and awareness-raising activities;
- Projects for what comes “after us”.
The diagnostic centre is the first part of the network since a diagnosis is the first service which is offered to autistic people and their families by the total care model implemented by the not-for-profit Children and Autism Foundation. The diagnostic process is articulated into a procedure which foresees:
• a preliminary telephone interview using a structured questionnaire;
• a medical history interview;
• a diagnostic and functional evaluation;
• planning an Individualised Global Project on the basis of the evaluation of the skills and deficiencies of the person;
• communicating the diagnosis to the family together with the delivery of a written report containing the results of the clinical tests and the description of the educational project.
A follow-up to check is planned with the family to measure the changes made and to redefine the resulting training plan.
Tests used in the diagnostic and functional evaluation protocols:
• ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule)
• ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised, short edition)
• CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale)
• GARS (Gilliam Autism Rating Scale)
• ABC (Autism Behaviour Checklist)
• CHAT (Checklist for Autism in Toddlers)
• AAPEP (Adolescent and Adult PsychoEducational Profile)
• PEP-R – 3 (Educational profile 3rd edition)
• VINELAND ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOUR SCALE
• LEITER-R (Leiter International Performance Scale Revised)
• WISC-R (Intelligence Scale for Children Revised)
• WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised)
• Furthermore, other tests are foreseen for logopedic and neuropsychological evaluations.
For information on access methods and waiting lists: 0434 29187
Service Manager: Dr. Antonella Milan.
Where: Pordenone Operational Headquarters, Via Vespucci n.8/a, 33170 Pordenone.
REHABILITATION AND PARENT TRAINING SERVICES
When talking about the syndrome of autism, it would be more appropriate to talk about abilitation than rehabilitation, in that we not are dealing with rehabilitating people to use functions which they once possessed which have subsequently been compromised, but rather to abilitate them in using functions and abilities which are absent from birth. The term rehabilitation is therefore used, in its more generic sense, but the following clarifications should be borne in mind.
Intervention work consists in integrated therapy, which is planned in an individualised way depending on the evaluation outcomes and the Global Project for each person, such as:
• language therapy;
• therapy for developing communication skills;
• therapy for cognitive development;
• therapy for refining fine and global motor skills and for improving oculomanual coordination;
• sensorial integration therapy;
• therapy aimed at developing imitation skills;
• therapy for stimulating relational exchanges and play;
• therapy aimed at favouring the expression and decodifying of needs and emotions;
• therapy aimed at acquiring social skills;
• therapy for developing autonomy.
Furthermore, the following are part of the rehabilitation Service:
• family and school counselling services (also for any other professionals and agencies involved),
• parent training activities which are articulated in two monthly meetings:
1.) one group meeting when families deal with topics linked to the main difficulties connected with autism, training participants at the same time on the main behavioural and new-behavioural approaches;
2.) a practical and individual-type meeting when parents can go into the training room with the operators and their child, supervised by the rehabilitation Manager.
In the absence of regulations and specific guide lines by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, the Children and Autism Foundation has adopted the intervention standards laid out by PRI-A by the Emilia Romagna Region (Integrated Regional Programme for Assistance to people with autistic spectrum disorders), for their Friuli headquarters, which is presently most in line with what has been confirmed in terms of rehabilitation by the International scientific community.
PRIA was started by the Emilia Romagna Region to reach objectives which had already been laid down in the "Guide Lines for the health promotion of people with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders" which were contained in Dossier 103/2004.
Activities are carried forward on a 1:1 basis, in teaching rooms at the operational Centres, but also in other contexts or free-time facilities (swimming pools, sports centres, libraries, etc.) and external settings, depending on the educational objectives and personalised project for each individual.
For information on access methods for the Service: 0434 29187
Service Manager: Dr. Emanuela Sedran (Pordenone headquarters), Dr. Bellinazzi (Fidenza headquarters).
Where: Pordenone Operational Centre, Via Vespucci n.8/a, 33170 Pordenone; Fidenza Operational Centre, Via Ferraris 13/b, 43036 Fidenza (PR).
EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL-BASED AND EXTRA-CURRICULA SERVICES
The educational school-based and extra-curricula services take place within an accredited regime using "Urban Settings 6.5" framework which includes the Councils of Pordenone, Cordenons, S. Quirino, Porcia and Roveredo (pursuant to article 6, paragraph 1. letters a, b, c of Regional Legislation 25/09/1966 no. 41).
The school-based educational activities regard kindergartens and schools of all levels, while the extra-curricula intervention work may have a home-based nature or be conducted at different sites including outside.
The educational activities are conducted on a 1:1 basis, are personalised and calibrated depending on the educational objective and the personalised project for each individual.
The service can be accessed using a Token issued by the Managing Agency at Pordenone Council.
For further information: 0434 29187
Service Coordinator: Dr. Antonella Milan
Where: Pordenone Operational Headquarters, Via Vespucci n.8/a, 33170 Pordenone
The so-called "respite" activities take place in a house, Respite Villa, which is located in the City of Cordenons (PN). The Respite Programme is open both to children and adults and consists in giving them the possibility of spending time away from home in a welcoming and "made to measure" environment.
This Programme takes its name from the fact that it offers the families of people with autism a bit of free time and thus some "respite" from their care commitments.
The concept of "respite" however, is not only referred to families, but also to people with autism themselves, who can experiment with being away from home, in a protected environment which at the same time is adapted to their gradually constructing their own autonomy and thus working at their own process of growth outside the family.
The experience of staying at "Respite Villa" has also been captured in a book, edited by Franco Angeli in 2003, entitled "For the weekend, I’m going to the Villa".
Weekends at Respite Villa:
Each weekend Respite Villa hosts people with autism in small homogenous groups (children, adolescents, adults) who dedicate themselves to free-time activities inside and outside the house (trips, walks, visits to the swimming pool, etc.) supervised by a team of operators from the Foundation, but also to personal autonomy and domestic activities (making their own beds, washing themselves, laying the table, preparing lunch, etc.) which have as their objective training people with autism – one step at a time and without traumas – towards living an independent life.
"A weekend with my brother":
This programme offers the chance for a person with autism to spend a weekend at Respite Villa with a brother/sister who is not autistic.
The initiative, which was the result of an experiment, aims to build conditions for sharing time with brothers and sisters: the participants can, in this way, experience the pleasure of spending time with their autistic brothers or sisters and cease for a moment to perceive them in their role of "disturber" and at the same time the autistic brother or sister, in finding themselves in a "made to measure" setting and with the help of specialised operators, can try their hand at activities which enable them to show their brothers or sisters abilities and skills which in other "non-structured" contexts they would have more difficulty in demonstrating.
The Week-long Holiday:
During the summer period, so-called "Week-long Holidays" are organised at Respite Villa: they are specific holidays for people with autism since they are thought out in such as way as to respect their needs and characteristics. Indeed, a change in routine, such as a holiday is, can represent a strong source of stress for an autistic person. The Week-long Holiday, on the contrary, is planned in order to be a pleasant and educational experience for the participants as well as an opportunity for time-off for the family. During the holiday, activities in the Villa and trips to the seaside, to the mountains or to cities are organised, with the constant presence of a team of facilitators from the Foundation.
The Play Point:
The Play Point consists in daily play activities organised in the month of September which involve autistic children and young people and their neurotypical peers at the same time.
The main principle of this programme, of strong educational value for all its participants, is that everyone can be enriched and learn something if they put themselves into the position of others, getting to know people with different abilities in a concrete way.
Booking is essential for these programmes as Respite Villa can only host groups of a maximum of 5 people. For daily activities at the Play Point, the Villa can host around 15 people.
"Respite Villa" is not an emergency structure, it is therefore not possible to gain spot access, but only as part of an educational Project with objectives which are defined and monitored over time.
For information on access methods for the Service: 0434 29187.
Service Manager: Dr. Giulia Caldi.
Where: Respite Villa, Via I. Svevo no.1 – Cordenons.
WORKING PROGRAMMES FOR AUTONOMY
These Programmes are carried out at the Art Workshop: a specific Daily Working Centre for adults with autism, where people can carry out activities linked to mosaics, packaging and information technology side-by-side with therapeutic operators and mosaic craftsmen and women. The working activities are in proportion to the characteristics of the people with autism and the organisation of the day is thought out in order for them not spend all day within the Centre: for the lunch break, for instance, they go to Respite Villa where they prepare lunch with other operators, while in the afternoon, after having finished their jobs in the laboratories, they go out in the city for small shopping trips or to carry out tasks or simply for a walk or an aperitif. This particular organisational style not only provides for working activities, but also for activities for developing personal and domestic autonomy and for social integration.
While carrying out these different activities, the operators are side-by-side with people with autism using an individualised level of supervision or rather one which is personalised according to the characteristics and the Project of each person, and with the objective of gradually reducing supervision. Therefore, the operators never substitute the users in carrying out their various activities, but rather they accompany them by dosing their interventions with the aim of stimulating the maximum autonomy, in line with their possibilities, with particular attention towards areas which are typically compromising for the autistic syndrome, or rather:
– favouring communication between colleagues and with the operators themselves and, where necessary, the expression of needs and the emergence of requests for help (communication area);
– favouring and facilitating interpersonal relations (social relations area);
– favouring the widening and expression of personal interests, putting suitable behaviour into action and reducing inadequate behaviour (interests and behavioural areas).
The main activities of the professional laboratories regards the mosaic arts. Mosaics were chosen in that it this an activity which, on the one hand, is well rooted in the Friuli area, despite being absent in the specific Pordenone area, and on the other, one which is enjoyed by many people with autism who have demonstrated an appreciation of its characteristics and work methods.
The products made in the Art Workshop are sold, presented at fairs and events and exhibited at temporary exhibitions. To find out more about the Art Workshop click here
For information on access methods for the Service: 0434 551463.
Service Manager: Dr. Emanuela Sedran.
Where: Via Molinari no. 41, 33170 Pordenone.
"LIVE THE CITY" PROGRAMME FOR TEMPORARY RESIDENCY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
"Live the City" represents the latest widening of the Service network offered by the Foundation and in particular a widening of Services for adults. Indeed, at present for adults the "Live the City" Project forms a natural progression to the "Art Workshop" Centre, is as aims to offer pathways to autonomy, also in the light of what happens "after us", for adults with autism, and in particular those working at the Art Workshop.
The activities at the Workshop are centred on creating skills and autonomy linked to work and adult life and provide the type of day which sees the user arriving at work in the morning, going for lunch at Respite Villa, coming back to the Workshop to start work again in the afternoon, leaving for social activities at the end of the working day and then, finally, going home to their families.
"Live the City" represents a continuation of this and is complementary to the programme in that it offers people the chance to experience temporary residency, tied to work, in a house for use as a guest house. If places are available, people who are not necessarily working at the Workshop but who come from other Services offered by the Foundation can adhere to the programme, with the aim of starting to work in areas which are of interest to the programme (housing autonomy, increasing personal independence, social integration).
With "Live the City" the aim is to pursue housing activities with those people with autism who possess such "pre-requisites" as allow them to hypothesise a time "after us", which, if not completely autonomous, at least has light assistance and a prospective for a relatively independent life. The people inserted in this programme can, in this way, live residential periods away from their families, work to increase their self-caring skills, manage their free-time, look after their own spaces, manage travel arrangements, etc.
The programme, furthermore, takes its name "Live the City", from the desire to let people with autism live their territory and city with the aim of favouring their integration and insertion in different social contexts within the city, which can be enjoyed in virtue of the residential possibilities offered by the programme.
The service is presently being carried out at Respite Villa while we await the construction of its new definitive headquarters. To this end, funds are being raised and it is possible to take part in the following ways: To find out more about the architectural project and the campaign currently in progress click here
For information on access methods for the Service: 0434 551463.
Service Manager: Dr. Emanuela Sedran.
Where: Presently: Villa Respiro, Via I. Svevo no.1 – Cordenons.
TRAINING AND CONSULTANCY SERVICES
For those working in the field of autism, training and on-going training are inseparable elements in order to be able to prepare efficient and appropriate intervention work.
The not-for-profit Children and Autism Foundation carries out consultancy activities for planning and implementing Services for autism and periodically delivers training events at various levels and of differing natures (theoretical and practical courses, workshops, work experience, intensive training, etc.):
• for health and social-health workers (psychologists, trainers, doctors, nurses, etc.) which are also valid in terms of Ongoing Training in Medicine (EMC);
• for teachers and school personnel;
• for families and volunteers;
• for the training and ongoing training of internal personnel, with grants also being awarded.
The Foundation also supplies training events for Hospitals and other agencies for whom it plans and delivers personalised training strategies on the basis of the customers’ needs.
Working officially with various Universities and Schools of Specialisation the Foundation is furthermore a work experience site for under and post-graduates.
If you would like to be informed about the start of courses or conventions and conferences organised by the Foundation, please complete the form here.
If, on the other hand, you are interested in a personalised training strategy, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
For work experience applications, please request a form from the Administration Office in order to make a formal request, then fill it out and send it to: The Children and Autism Foundation, Via Vespucci 8/a, 33170 Pordenone.
CULTURAL, INFORMATIVE, ADVOCACY AND AWARENESS-RAISING ACTIVITIES
The not-for-profit Children and Autism Foundation organises numerous events every year to inform, raise awareness of and stimulate reflections on themes surrounding autism. Art exhibitions, cultural events, cinema, book presentations, meetings with authors and lots of other events are also systematically organised in collaboration with other organisations in the regional area and beyond.
If you would like to be kept informed on our numerous initiatives, please fill out the form
If you would like to become part of a group of volunteers for organising events, please write to email@example.com or call us on 0434 29187.
THE AFTER US PROJECT
One transversal objective for all the Services offered by the not-for-profit Children and Autism Foundation consists in constructing skills and autonomy for what is defined as "during and after us".
In order to work in a more incisive way, the Foundation has aimed at networking with other organisations in the area which work with disabilities in order to realise this objective, and this has led to the creation of, with other Friuli Venezia Giulia agencies and Associations, the Regional NOT FOR PROFIT Committee for what happens After- During Us with the aim of dealing coherently and in a shared manner with a problem which evidently not only affects people with autism.
One of the first actions which the Committee undertook regarding autism and in particular the "Residency Project", was providing for the building of a reception residency for disabled autistic adults, to be located in Medea (Gorizia). The structure is aimed at those people who, due to the level of seriousness of the syndrome, need residential solutions which are permanent and protected, while continuing to guarantee the maximum level of autonomy and privacy.
What does "during and after us" mean?
One of the most dramatic questions that parents of a person with disabilities ask themselves is "what will happen to our child after us?". The family is the site of affection, and at the same time, one of the pivots of the social-work and care system which ensues from it.
This is why the expression "after us" sums up all the problems connected with when the family is no longer there, problems which are not only linked with finding welcoming and dignified accommodation for disabled people who have lost the support of their families, but which represent a complex compound of needs and rights which it is only possible to provide answers to through an organic system of tools and services.
The expression "during us" underlines how, in order to face these problems, it’s necessary to be prepared well before the moment when the family "passes on", by dealing with issues connected to the disability from a long-term prospective according to which, people change, and grow, and have the right to their own autonomy, privacy and independent life.
What is the Not-for-profit After-During Us Regional Committee Association?
The Association has arisen from the wishes and needs of certain organisations working in the private social and not-for-profit sector to build a "single-meeting place" for dialogue and for sharing opinions on the themes and needs which are connected to the "after us" period for people with disabilities.
The objective is to implement, make the most of and promote service management, educational planning and social integration models, as well as share operational and experimental approaches. The end aim is to improve the quality of life for disabled people.
In order to do this, a sort of syndicated Association was thought up, which would allow the creation of active co partnerships between the public and private sectors, in order to offer tools for moving towards better political and institutional choices and to create a privileged watchdog aimed at responding to the needs of citizens more than those of the services involved.
The fundamental criteria for defining an intervention priority within social and health planning at various levels (regional, provincial, local, district, wider areas), related to the health and "After Us" issues, with regard, in particular, to:
– the seriousness of the disability;
– continuity in terms of the disabled person’s existing reality;
– stability and finalisation in attributing resources;
– developing new shared projects.
To find out more and to contact the Committee:
Comitato Dopo-Durante Noi ONLUS (Not-for-profit After-During Us Committee) Via Tiro a Segno 3/A – 33170 Pordenone; firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel. 0434/366746; www.comitatodopodurantenoi.org.