Vietnam Time

7/11/2018 3:00:59 PM

Saigon Children's Charity implements a new approach to support parents of children with autism

(VNF) - The opening workshop of the coaching skills, which is the second programme of the three-year project ‘Early intervention for children with autism’ was kick started by Saigon Children’s Charity (SCC) on July 9 at the HCMC National College of Education.

Vice Principal of National College of Education HCMC, Nguyen Nguyen Binh (middle) give thank you flowers to two participating autism experts, Damien Roberts (right) and Marianne Simpson (left) (source: SCC)

The three-year project “Early intervention for children with autism” was launched in 2016 as a joint initiative from SC, National College of Education HCMC and OWL Therapy Centre.

The project has been conducted since 2017 to provide necessary training for teachers and parents in theoretical and practical sessions and indirectly benefit more children with autism.

With the financial support from Bleach Family for the first two years and Lufthansa Help Alliance for the last year of implementation, all trainees and parents are offered free training courses and workshops with consultations from the leading experts in this field.

In the first year of implementation, the project received a hundred applications from lecturers and teachers, 22 of them enrolled to be trainees of the project and over 90% of the participants said they developed a good understanding of new knowledge, which was far better than those they learnt from books prior to the project.

The content included how to use pictures for communication, descriptive commenting, intensive interaction, and how to create an autism-friendly classroom environment. The first conference for parents also attracted more than 100 parents who have children with autism. After the first year, the programme has benefited around 220 parents with autistic children.

In particular, in this second year, the project focuses on supporting key lecturers and teachers to work closely with parents of children with autism through practical coaching sessions.

Overview of the workshop (source: Saigon Times)

Sharing at the opening ceremony, Executive Director of SCC, Damien Robert, said: “SCC is committed to making sure that autism education continues to develop quickly across Vietnam. We will be focusing on continuing to make leading research and techniques available for use in Vietnam, and to using our international networks to bring together experts in autism education to share their knowledge and experience.

According to Manager of Special Need Educations Programme, Do Thi Hien, this project is advised by many experts in occupational therapy and speech therapy; also receives financial support from many sponsors who already knew the good things that SCC is doing.

"Especially, this project is coordinated by Marianne Simpson, who has had over 35 years of experience working with disabled children in the UK, and over 6 years of experience working with lecturers, teachers, parents and children with disabilities in Vietnam” she noted.

To maintain and promote the achievements mentioned above, in 2018, SCC continues to cooperate with experts to provide advanced training courses with further attention to practical skills for the aforementioned trainees.

Besides the training provided for teachers, the project also bring two workshops to parents on July 11 and 18th.

This is a valuable opportunity for parents, teachers and specialists to exchange information with participation of senior clinical specialists from the UK on early treatment, phonetic therapy and behavior management for children with autism.

Autism is a developmental disorder in children which affects their language and communicating ability and often leads them to live an isolated life. However, if autism identified and addressed early, children can go on to develop their full potential and integrate into society.

In Ho Chi Minh City, surveys from the pediatric psychiatric clinic in the Children’s hospital shows that the number of children diagnosed with autism has risen rapidly from 2,563 children in 2012 to around 200,000 cases in 2017.

Despite the growing demand for the appropriate intervention for children with autism, there has not been consistent guidance for teachers and parents on how to best support these children, which is why SC has been working with international experts in autism and specialists from across Vietnam to develop a new approach./.

  ( Phi Yen )
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