Saigonchildren improves the standard of Early intervention for children with autism in Vietnam
On 24th June 2019, saigonchildren kick-started their last phase of the three-year project entitled “Early Intervention for Children with Autism – Training the Trainers” with the participation of 19 lecturers and practitioners (trainees) and six experts (trainers).
Despite a growing demand for appropriate intervention for children with autism, there has not been consistent guidance for teachers and parents on how to best support these children, which is why saigonchildren has been working with international experts in autism and specialists from across Việt Nam to develop a new approach and to improve the standard of Early intervention for children with autism in Vietnam.
The three-year project “Early intervention for children with autism – Training the Trainers” was launched in 2016 as a joint initiative from Saigonchildren, National College of Education HCMC and OWL Therapy Centre. The project has been conducted since 2017 to provide the necessary training for core teachers and parents across Vietnam in theoretical and practical sessions and indirectly benefit more children with autism.
With the financial support from Lufthansa Help Alliance for the last year of implementation, all trainees are offered free training courses and workshops with consultations from the leading experts in this field.
The professional background of the course is guaranteed by multidisciplinary experts from the UK. After this training, practitioners will become trainers who are equipped with solid knowledge and skills to spread understanding of children with autism and effective methods to support them.
In this third phase, trainers will not lead the training sessions but facilitate and support the trainees’ activities. All of trainees will practice by groups on providing and implementing Special Education School Base, Communication and Language Therapy, and other Independence skills for children with autism.
Sharing at the opening ceremony, executive director of saigonchildren, Mr Damien Roberts said: “At the moment, among many projects of saigonchildren, this is the most important project that we are doing. With your knowledge and expertise, we can build an effective network across Vietnam to help give care, support and education to many children with autism and their family… ”
Ms Nguyen Thi Mai, an early intervention practitioner, a trainee in the course shared: “I am so thankful for the trainers to give us practical training, and the contributions and engagement from other trainees of the course to help build a strong community to support children with autism and their families. The course is so meaningful to me.”
The project modules will be duplicated and sustained for the upcoming year with free training courses to support teachers, therapists, caregivers and parents in Vietnam to approach and intervene appropriately for children with autism. The next course will take place from 2020-2022 with two weeks of intensive training for each year.
Special Needs Education Programme (SNEP) of saigonchildren started in 2009 to support children with disabilities and helps them to have a better life through proper education. The programme specialises in autism education, including community-based identification and early intervention, and work with speech therapists, physical therapists and specialist trainers to build expertise across Vietnam. SNEP also cooperates with specialist organizations across Vietnam to help children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness and congenital conditions including those associated with the effects of Agent Orange. We provide education & training and social development activities for children, improve learning facilities, and support local organizations to build their fundraising and management capabilities.