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Diagnostic assessment: An assessment which diagnoses whether the child is on the autistic spectrum or not. A score is given which reflects the severity of the child’s Autism



Skills assessment: The second step after the diagnostic assessment is a skills assessment. This may either be done after the child is enrolled into the Head start programme slowly over a period of two weeks or is done in a number of sessions. The aim of this assessment is to know exactly where the child is on every skill such as communication, social skills, academic skills and behavior.



IEP: An Individual Education plan is written up for each child based on the finding s of the skills assessment. This is a personal programme which aims to improve the child’s weak point and develop further his/her strengths



Placement: A meeting with the parents is arranged to decide on the best place to implement the IEP. Placement options are usually one of the following; Headstart full time, nursery part/full time with a shadow teacher, school part/full time with a shadow teacher.



Headstart programme: The Headstart programme is a full day programme from 9am-2pm, 5 days a week. It is an intensive “school” day. The programme aims to cover 25 hours of the 40 hours required for children with Autism. The programme has a very high teacher to child ration frequently 1:1.  The daily schedule of the programme is as follows;

- Morning circle (nursery rhymes and circle time)

- 1:1 ABA session ; each child works on his/her IEP

- Snack time

- 1:1 ABA session

- Group social skills training; role play (work on imagination), imitation, turn taking, sharing

- Second snack

- Activity; art, music, supermarket trip, P.E, role play.

Children are pulled out of class individually for speech, oral motor and more recently OT sessions as required by their IEP.
Headstart programme usually begins by focusing on basic skills such as self-help skills (feeding, changing, potty training), attention, and sitting on a table, eye contact, cognition, imitation and communication.
Headstart teaches children to work within a particular “work system”.  Different approaches were used mainly from ABA (Applied Behavior analysis), TEACCH (Treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children) and Son Rise to build this work system.


“Work System”
Headstart takes advantage of the autistic Childs high need for routine which gives them predictability and hence security. Thus the work system focuses very much on structure. Very high structure and predictability is present in our daily schedules. Children can predict and anticipate how the day will go. Visual schedules are provided which explain to the children visually (using their strength) “what will happen next”.  The child is taught how to communicate using the PECS (Picture exchange communication system) which allows the child to express his needs using pictures up until he is able to hold a conversation. It has been statistically proven that within 6months of using PECS language develops.

The children do their 1:1 work in a particular area of the classroom, they eat and do their group work in another area and have a corner for ‘free play’. This geographic division of the class communicates with the child “non verbally” what he/she is expected to do therefore reducing anxiety.

Children are introduced to this work system at Headstart then this system is applied to home, mainstream nursery and to schools. Coping strategies are taught to children as they begin to show progress and the work system becomes less and less structured. Visual schedules are eventually turned into written school timetables etc.

Mainstreaming: Once the basic skills previously mentioned skills have been taught children are mainstreamed into nurseries then schools.  The child attends mainstream with a shadow teacher. Usually we start with 2 hours and gradually increase the time the child spends in a mainstream setting. The work system (schedules and PECS) is introduced to the mainstream setting to facilitate the transition. Children are initially usually only socially mainstreamed so as to “pick up” social skills from peers. Academic work and individual skills are still taught 1:1 at Headstart.


Individual sessions: As previously mentioned Headstart offers approx 25 hours of work a week. The family is expected to cover at least another 15 hours of work. Most families choose to use our therapists in the afternoon and on weekends to do this. Sessions provided by EAS include the following;

Speech therapy: The speech therapist writes a particular programme for each child after his initial assessment

ABA sessions: Based on each child’s IEP

Social skills training:  A therapist takes the child out to various social settings and teaches him appropriate behaviors for that setting. Places may include supermarkets, various means of transport, food outlets, malls, birthdays, family outing, clubs and different sports groups.
Social skills training is occasionally done with more than one child. Siblings are also encouraged to participate. Children are exposed to various sports and activities such as bowling, painting or music in the hope that a hobby is developed.

Home programme: Trained staff is sent to the home to help parents provide a structured set up for their child. Support for the parents also includes advice on day-to-day issues that arise when dealing with the children.
A therapist spends several hours with the child and his family at home teaching them how to do things in the house e.g. take a bath, make a sandwich and teaches the parents how to interact with the child.

Training:

University students

Helwan special education students attend one year of training at EAS as part of their practical work before graduating. Students from social services also attend periodical training at EAS. AUC sends students to volunteer, practise and write papers at EAS.

School students
Various schools such as Manner house and CAC send their senior student to do community work and volunteer at EAS.

Teacher training: Teachers from other associations, schools and nurseries attend courses on how to diagnose, modify behavior and work with autistic children.

Setting up units: EAS staff help other school both mainstream and special education schools establish Autistic units on their premises. This includes staff selection and training, student assessments and IEPS and the setting up of classrooms. This was done in several schools in Cairo in Dubai and Jordan.

Referral system

EAS now has a vast network and contacts of people who are well trained in dealing with Autistic children and we are happy to share it with you!

Dentists
Pediatricians
Neurologists
Barbers
Sports trainers
Other therapists
Homoeopathists
Schools
Nurseries
AIT
Hyperbaric
Physiotherapist

Summer Camp:
A summer camp is run in the month of July for Autistic children and their siblings. Activities include swimming, horse riding, art school and integration in a mainstream summer school.


Meetings/Conferences: A professional in the field is invited to introduce a new concept, research update and offer help and advice to parents. It is also a chance to hear from parents how the Society can provide further support.

Newsletter: A newsletter published every month, covering up-to-date research on Autism as well as services available in Egypt relevant to both parents and professionals.

Resource Room: The Society is Compiling a comprehensive source of information on Autism; complete with books, journals and access to the Internet, available for use by parents, professionals and anyone interested in the field.

Awareness Campaigns: The Society organizes campaigns to increase the awareness and understanding of Autism in the community.


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  • Last updated: Saturday, November 18, 2017