SPASD (Strengthening the Capacity of Professionals Working in Schools with Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a project started in 2017 and funded in the framework of the Erasmus+, EU’s programme dedicated to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
The project foresees the development of an e-learning course aimed to increase the expertise of teachers working with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) students or who want to increase their skills in providing high quality and inclusive classroom teaching.
The course, entitled “Teaching children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD): inclusive education, innovative strategies and transition to adult life”, is ready and shortly will be available on the dedicated platform at this link https://teachasd.com/. Here teachers can register and find out all the information on how to access the course in the language of each country involved in the project. The foreseen date for delivery of the course is January 2019.
The course is composed of the following modules:
- Understanding and managing ASD in the classroom – This module focuses on what autism is, how it shows in school settings and how teachers can analyse and decrease behaviours that affect the student’s functioning. After completing the module, teachers will be able to understand autism in the classroom, recognize the educational needs of students with autism, and respond to the specific need identified in order to help the students learn.
- Curriculum adaptation for students diagnosed with ASD – This module focuses on adapting the school environment to pupils diagnosed with ASD by presenting the most commonly used methods of adapting teaching to classrooms and providing practical examples. The module also presents the decision-making process in adapting the curriculum (how to decide the level of adaptation for the student with ASD, the steps in making an effective decision about the adaptation) and offers alternatives to prevent inappropriate behaviour in the classroom.
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and ASD – This module provides examples of general and newly developed strategies based on ICT that teachers could use in the class to help children with ASD to develop effective learning strategies. The newly learned strategies, once applied, will have significant effects on the learning performance of children with ASD. The integration of technology in the class will ease the work of teachers and increase their teaching methods quality, adapted to the new developments in the field.
- Transition from school to adult life of ASD students – This module addresses the need of young students diagnosed with ASD to go through a decision-making process about what happens after school. This module presents how to evaluate the size and areas of independence of the student with ASD in order to allow the teachers to assess the student’s needs, knowledge, predisposition and skills using practical tools and to design an action plan together with the family in order to obtain the independence of the young adult living with ASD.
The course is available in 5 languages: English, Romanian, Polish, Italian and Dutch. The access is free, but the participants have to register through a form available at the following link: https://teachasd.com/wp-login.php?action=register&lang. For each country, more and detailed information are available on the official project website, according to each educational system requirement.
The SPASD course represents a useful tool to provide support in the transfer of capabilities from school to community life for students with ASD and in building a partnership with parents in educating the child.