IPA2 – Inclusion of People with Autism in Europe. Improving scholar transitions from primary to secondary school
On the 1st of October the Erasmus plus IPA2 project officially started. The project is funded under the call KA201 – Strategic Partnership for school education and involves a partnership composed of 6 entities from 5 European countries.
The IPA2 leverages on the work done in the “IPA+, Inclusion of people with autism in Europe. Towards a specialized training model for professionals” which objective was to develop a basic training of reference for all professionals working with people on the autism spectrum – independently of their area of knowledge – which responds to the aforementioned gaps, the demands of the society in general and of this group of population and their families.
Contest of the project
People with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have mainly difficulties in social communication and interaction. At school level, students with ASD have specific needs in different educational stages. The transition from primary to secondary school can produce stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in students with ASD. These consequences can affect their academic performance leading to school failure or even school dropout or absenteeism.
These facts show the need to introduce changes in the educational context by providing more training actions focused on teachers and classmates in order to improve the interaction with ASD students based on the support, empathy and comprehension of their needs and requirements.
IPA2 aims at decreasing school vulnerability of students with ASD in the transition from primary to secondary school. To this end, IPA2 is focused on the following objectives:
- Decrease early school leaving in students with ASD.
- Improvement relationships in school between students with ASD and their peers and classmates.
- Training teachers from primary and secondary schools in order to provide them with strategies to improve the academic performance of students with ASD and to reduce their anxiety/stress symptoms associated with school issues.
- Taking advantage of the experience of families with children with ASD in order to develop tailored materials and training.
- Promotion self-defense strategies in people with ASD to help them to deal with school issues.
In order to achieve these objectives, teachers and students will be involved in the co-creation of training materials and training courses that will be uploaded on a special e-learning platform through which all the contents will be accessible to anyone who wishes to consult them. In parallel, activities will be carried out to raise awareness among the population, in particular students and teachers, about the difficulties that students with DSA face at school, especially during the transition from primary to secondary school.
IPA2 partnership is made up of 6 entities from 5 European countries:
- 3 NGO’s related to autism: Autismo Burgos (Spain); A Thousand Wishes Foundation (Serbia); Federação Portuguesa de Autismo (Portugal).
- 1 association related to Autism at European level: Autism Europe (Belgium).
- 1 research institute as a scientific partner: Polibienestar Research Institute from the University of Valencia (Spain).
- 1 enterprise related to the development of innovative ICT solutions in the socio-sanitary field: Social IT (Italy).