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Florence Centre,  Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
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Report April 2017

Participation in seminars and conferences


On the 11th of April, our employees participated in the II International scientific-practical conference "Psychological and pedagogical problems of higher and secondary education in the conditions of modern challenges in the society: theory and practice". The conference was held at the Kharkov National Pedagogical University named after G. S. Skovoroda.

We have made two presentations on the work of the Centre: the project on healthy life style "Territory Z" and "I am beautiful!" The conference participants listened with interest to reports and asked many questions.

At the end of the conference the Chairman suggested that in the future it would be useful to invite public organizations to conduct workshops for the academic community. This, in her view, will link theory with practice.

On the 27th of April held a practical seminar "Autism: the diagnosis, sensory integration, education." The seminar was organized and provided by three organizations: by the Fund "A Child with a Future", the "Florence Centre" and by Zaporizhzhya National University. The main speaker at the seminar was the Consul of the European Association "Autism-Europe" Inna Sergiyenko, concurrently, the mother of a child with autism.

The seminar was attended by parents of children with autism, the staff of the city social services centres, employees of orphanages, kindergartens, schools, sanatoriums, psychiatric hospitals, private and public organizations. The event was attended by 240 people. For many participants the information was new and it was unusual that a parent of a child with autism taught professionals and parents how to teach these children. All participants received certificates of professional development and gifts - USB sticks with conference materials.

Next year it is planned to continue such lectures.



The Project "School Mediation"

In April, two schools were selected for the project on mediation, we held a presentation for teachers. The purpose of these presentations is to give more information about the school mediation process and the effect of this work. Teachers interested in the project, they are ready to assist in its implementation.

They asked questions about the possibility to solve problems related to financial issues. (One example: one student took the other’s earphones and lost them. Who pays? Parents?). Teachers hope that the project will help in resolving such conflicts.

In addition to the project "School mediation" teachers were interested in other projects and programs of our Centre. For example, many people wanted to participate in the project "I am beautiful!"



The Program "Healthy Lifestyle"


We continue to work at schools. Guys more and more get to know each other, learn to interact in teams. We observe some conflicts between high school students and teach them how to develop positive relationships in the classroom.

The students call our sessions "cheerful lessons".




The Project "I am beautiful!" - 2


In April we had 4 sessions. During these sessions we addressed the important issues such as the relationship with adult children and extended family (sister-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, etc.); conflicts and ways of resolving them; allocation of free time for family, friends and community; etc. Very often, after the sessions, the participants said, "What a pity that we didn't know many things before! How many mistakes in life could have been avoided!" "What new and interesting information!" "I have to change a lot in myself!"



Students’ Practicum


This month we continued the training sessions for the students of Economics and Law College. Besides training sessions college students help us a lot in the preparation and conducting of the annual concert "The World of Big Hearts - 8".

According to the students, after the concert, they have changed their attitudes towards people with special needs – they became more empathetic to people with special needs.



The "Kangaroo" Program

 This month the "Kangaroo program" visited 14 children. Three families were interviewed, they plan to be our potential customers in fall.

On the second of April the local community organized entertainment events and share information about autism (The Day of Autistic Children). Our staff and parents actively participated in these events.

This month we continue to visit a pool at children's hospital.

In addition, the kids of our center attended a session of hippotherapy, made an unforgettable trip to the Oak park, where we were able to observe wildlife (birds, fish, frogs, trees and plants). All children were very much excited about the trip!

Sessions with a music therapist because of its consistency began to produce positive results: children follow the music, dance, correctly reproduce the rhythm and tempo. Another significant achievement in this field was the performance of our kids at the annual concert "The World of Big Hearts" where children played musical instruments. All parents were very happy and grateful for the participation of their children in such a big event. Unfortunately, not all children participated in the concert because of parental rejection of their photos and videos.

Another important event was a trip to the shopping center "Auchan". The excursion was organized before Easter, so the kids were able to decorate baked Easter cakes with icing and sprinkle with colored candy.

Our children produced crafts for the Easter holiday, which were sold at a charity auction.

Clowns again has pleased us with their presence. The kids, along with clowns blew bubbles, played catch, throwing balloons, dancing, making faces and just having fun.

Actively carried out sports activities with the children through daily exercise in the morning, outdoor games in the open air, massage and physical therapy. We have purchased children's bike. The kids enjoy pedaling on a bike.

Some of the achievements of our pupils:

Z. stays without diapers, controls his toilet’s visits.

D. started distinctly to pronounce words and phrases and began to communicate with children and adults.

A. began to respond to her name, follow short instructions, asks to take her to the toilet.

We are very grateful to the volunteers and students in conducting excursions, day trips, and the preparation of teaching material!

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