Each year Youth Movement for Development of the Rural Areas in Bulgaria /YMDRAB/ holds an international training course for speech therapists from Varna region. In 2013, the training was focused on Early Intervention. We had the pleasure to welcome the group and to show the specialists the therapy methods, used in Karin Dom. All participants were highly impressed by the conditions, the organization and our way of work. This past course was financed by the “Youth in Action” Program and was chosen by the European Commission as one of the best 35 projects in its respective field.
This year’s training course will be held between July 31st – August 9th, 2015 in Kranevo. The main subject of the course is acquiring different approaches and work methods for children and young people with autism spectrum disorders. 50 leading speech therapists and university professors from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria will participate in the course.
“We have the reason to think that your work holds a hight standard and is an extremely good practice in working with children and young people with autism.” That is what the participants shared with us with the request to visit Karin Dom this year.
The Karin Dom team presented the new program “Little +” (a family group for functional communication and adaptive skills) that we created especially for children with autistsm spectrum disorders and their parents.
The “Little +” group helps for the children’s adaptation at kindergartens and is created following a model from the USA, Oregon. There, the group is led by an Early Intervention consultant who is a specialist in the field of Autism. Karin Dom was inspired by this model during a training we had abroad. The group is for children from 2.5 to 5 years old. In this group the parents learn how to communicate with their children and how to provoke communication. They also learn very important adaptive skills.
Our group includes 5 children (and their parents). The group is led by a speech therapist who is supported by the Early Intervention specialists, as one of them is always present. This presence helps with the applying of all acquired skills because once a month our consultant visits the child in the family’s home. The groups are held twice a week for two hours. The implementation and results of the “Little+” group will enable our training team to disseminate the gathered information and this type of group practice as an effective model for working with families who have a child with autistic spectrum disorder.