The Action for Autism (AFA) center has been alive and well in India since 1991. Merry Barua, the director of AFA will speak on autism in Israel at ICare4Autism’s International Autism Conference Autism: A Global Perspectiveon August first and second of 2012. Ms. Baura’s address will illuminate awareness on how to empower parents in low resourced areas. Her organization in partnership with UCLA is a comprehensive study of the Parent Child Training Program. This project led by cultural psychologist Tamara Daley is in collaboration with research director Nidhi Singhal.
The Parent Child Training Program (PCTP) at Action For Autism is a ‘model’ program that addresses the critical need for parent education. How to parent an autistic child is not an intuitive process. True parental involvement is the key to successful autism programming and activities.
PCTP’s training empowers parents to take charge of their children’s health and education. Parental involvement on this level not only helps educate children, but it heals the emotional stresses that parents face. The PCTP training program is a ten-week country wide opportunity.
The coursework covers behavior modification and skills maintenance. Mothers learn tools and tactics for facilitating learning. Most importantly, they gain confidence through community by meeting other parents. This is the goal of ICare4Autism’s conference and our institute at large. By sharing information we strengthen our skills.
Ms. Barua’s organization quotes that they hope for “a society that views the interdependence of people of every ability as valuable and enriching.” AFA seeks to provide equal opportunities for all. Their goals are not only research and expanding autism education in India but also independent life training and skills.
The AFA’s reach goes beyond Los Angeles and India to the Europe. AFA created “Activate Yourself!” to put into action the value of all people. Due to the nature Autism, people with this disorder have difficulties in terms of self-advocating their fundamental rights. Therefore “Activate Yourself” was developed to encourage active participation of young people with ASD; empower them as active citizens, make them aware of their role in creating their own future and promote their equal rights and opportunities. The project is supported by the Youth in Action Programme of the European Union.
This kind of active work is right in line with the International Center for Global Research. We learn as much in the classroom as we do from the scientists in our lab. How to educate our autistic youth comes directly from their communication and achievements.