Today is the International Autism Awareness Day. On this occasion Orange Foundation is launching a new project jointly with the Armenian Association of Child Psychiatrists & Psychologists, aimed at supporting autistic children and their families, helping parents of autistic children to learn how to communicate more easily with their children. In the frames of this project parents of autistic children will be taught about the PECS tool (Picture Exchange and Communication System), which is the best tool for communicating with autistic children. This tool was taught in Armenia two years ago by “Arabkir” Medical Center and again with the support of Orange Foundation.
The project will launch on May 1 and will last for 6 months. In the frames of this project it is planned to help parents to reveal new ways of communication with their children with special needs, and help them to become a “therapist” for their children with the aim to reach a maximum result. By the efforts of volunteers PECS books will be made and provided to children. A special web site will be created, enabling the parents of autistic children to read available literature, address their questions, related to their children and their problems, to specialists, to be informed about the process of implementation of the project. This project will help families to be aware of their problems and handle them realistically. Other family members will also have the opportunity to consult psychologists and, where necessary, psychiatrists, and the children will be involved in extra-therapeutic works.
Parents of autistic children may apply for registration as from today, by calling 055545531 and 055443155.
The project “Parents as Therapists for Authistic Children” is implemented by Orange Foundation in the frames of the special intitaive “employee-led projects”, launched this year. The grant for implementation of this project was provided from Orange Foundation to Orange employee Anna Sedrakyan, who is a psychologist by profession and supports the projects, implemented by the Armenian Association of Child Psychiatrists & Psychologists. This is already the second employee-led project.
Bruno Duthoit, CEO of Orange Armenia, said: “Autism is a disorder that affects communication abilities. As a communication company, Orange cares for those groups of the society that have communication problems. France Telecom has been engaged in this domain for already 20 years. In the meanwhile, we greatly prioritize engagement of our employees in the social activities of our company. We are proud to note that besides fulfilling their work responsibilities, our employees also care for other members of society and we are happy to support them to solve small or big social problems, which they see or prioritize around them”.
Orange Foundation has allotted AMD 3 million for implementation of the project.
The project, dedicated to autistic children, has been launched in Armenia by Orange since 2010. The project “Helping Children with Autism” is being implemented in Armenia by ARABKIR Foundation with the support of Orange Foundation, which aims to reveal the problems of autistic children, to help them be integrated in society, to be independent and to improve their qaulity of life. It aims at promoting public awareness on autism, notably, in schools, kindergartens, health institutions, implementing latest approaches in diagnostics and assessment of autism in Armenia, organizing summer holidays for autistic children.