Bucharest, June 28, 2018 – More than 300 autistic children from eight intervention centers in Bucharest and Ilfov and Suceava counties have been granted access to the platform http://eduaba.ro/, the first platform ever in Romania providing real time connection for the members of the team involved in the treatment and recovery of children with autism, as part of the trial stage of the “Connecting for Children with Autism” project. The project is developed by the Help Autism Association in partnership with the Applied Behavioral Therapy – ATCA Association and the New Odyssey Association. The Vodafone Romania Foundation provides a co-financing of the “Connecting for Children with Autism” project of approximately RON 320,000, out of a total budget of nearly RON 600,000, through the 2017 Connecting for Good Program.
In addition to those over 300 children, the platform’s database includes information about the 300 parents and the 47 specialists involved in the evaluation, therapy and recovery process.
“Owing to the complex platform developed under this project and used for the first time in Romania in the rehabilitation of children with autism, the specialized therapeutic program becomes more efficient, the parents get real-time access to updated information about their children’s evolution and the specialists can easily communicate in designing and monitoring the therapeutic plan”, says Angela Galeta, Director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.
“The process of integrating all the information into a single system and adapting it to the multiple requirements of the therapeutic intervention dedicated to children with autism has challenged us. The excellent results obtained prove the effectiveness of the project in terms of a multidisciplinary approach and in terms of managing the particularly important relationship between the team of therapists and the parents of the autistic children”, says Mariana Hanganu, Project Manager, Help Autism Association
The recovery process of a child with autism, is long and complex. Presently, hundreds of therapists spend a lot of hours of intense work every day in the therapy rooms, following an intervention plan that is carefully tailored to each child’s needs. Autistic child recovery implies at least 10 hours of therapy per week for many years on end. In addition to the seriousness of the condition, child recovery depends on the therapeutic plan that is constantly pursued by the intervention team, as well as on the parent’s involvement in the process.
The eduaba.ro application provides a complex solution for the computerization of the files of autistic children undergoing ABA therapy. The platform, which includes a database and a mobile app, improves child recovery process by bringing together child information and the expertise of the specialists involved, providing an overview of the evolution of each case and thus helping therapist define the right approach to obtaining the best possible results. Parents can access the history of their child’s therapy at any time and the therapist’s activity is streamlined thanks to the quick centralization of the data collected during the intervention. As a result, the time dedicated to the therapy as such is increased considerably, while permanent communication between the parents and the intervention team is made easy. One component of the project was the development of the first psychological evaluation questionnaire for the child with developmental disorder, adapted to the curriculum of the Ministry of National Education (MEC), based on which a more detailed assessment of the child can be made, in relation also to the assessments made by the nursery / kindergarten. This component plays an important role in making the integration of children with autism into the educational system much easier.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 20 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,104 programs run by 706 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2.7 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people and physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, Vodafone Romania has invested over 28 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at www.fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone
The Help Autism Association has been actively involved for eight years in running autism awareness, early diagnosis and early intervention programs for children with autism. In addition to supporting the change in autistic child status in Romania, the association provides therapy services in 5 centers, 6 public-private partnerships and at home, provides ABA training courses, free teacher training courses, workshops and counseling sessions for parents, and is also the co-organizer of the ABA International Conference.
The Association of Applied Behavioral Therapy – ATCA has become a professional standard, owing to its outstanding results in intervention programs for children with behavioral disorders. In the 10 years since its establishment, ATCA has opened two treatment centers, where 170 children with behavioral and autism spectrum disorders are included in ABA therapy programs. The association has also specialized in the training of therapists, being the only institution in Romania providing behavioral analysts with continuous training courses in ABA, accredited by BACB.
The New Odyssey Association has been supporting the rehabilitation of children with autism for over 5 years through inclusive education, research and technology. New Odyssey has a multidisciplinary team that integrates in the therapeutic program of each child services like applied behavioral analysis (1:1 therapy and group therapy), speech therapy, sensory therapy and kinetotherapy. The Association also extends its services in the community through home coordination programs, training workshops for families, teachers, therapists, kindergartens and schools, as well as through practice-based services, under a public-private partnership with the University of Bucharest.