Lecturers about the International Practical Online Course on Autism from the University of Adelphi (USA)

On September 20, 2021, the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation held an open online stream on Facebook dedicated to the organization and topics of the International Practical Online Course on Autism from the Adelphi University (USA) within the International Autism Academy. 

The course was supposed to start in the fall of 2021, however, due to bureaucratic problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be postponed to 2022. This course is unique not only for Ukraine but also for all countries practicing the Russian language. This is the first Russian-language course of the American university, which will allow its students to gain unique knowledge and advanced world experience in working with special children, but also to receive an international certificate, which is recognized throughout the world. At the moment, experts from the Czech Republic, Italy, Russia, Israel, and, of course, Ukraine have already confirmed their intentions to become the students. We are grateful to everyone who showed interest and reminds you that the number of participants will be limited.    

So, about the stream. Speakers of the course:

  1. Stephen Shore – professor of education for people with disabilities at Adelphi University, USA. Autist, board member of Autism Speaks, president of the Asperger / Autism Network, author of a series of books on autism.
  2. Inna Olshanskaya is a doctor of occupational therapy, sensory integration therapist, a member of the American Association of Occupational Therapists, and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, author of the book “A Holistic Approach to the Treatment of Children with Special Needs.”
  3. Inna Sergienko – Autism-Europe Consul in Ukraine, a consultant on the understanding of autistic behavior and communication, laureate of the International Autistic People Award.
  4. Irina Sergienko is an expert, consultant on the implementation of practical inclusion in the EU and Ukraine. 

Each lecturer spoke about the topic, the task of his module, and the work organization. The organizer of the course – the ‘Child with Future’ Foundation – answered the listeners on organizational questions about the course fee, the certification conditions, the opportunity to join individual modules, etc.

Stephen Shore: “The course focuses students on tailoring the intervention to the needs of the individual. These are screening, diagnosis, and supportive interventions. As a result, students will know all about scientifically proven diagnostic and assistance tools.” 

Inna Olshanskaya: “The module will introduce students to the understanding of the role of occupational therapy according to “the sooner the better” approach. Trainees will gain research-based knowledge of testing, assessment, and intervention options before adolescence.” 

Inna Sergienko: “The psychological health of the parents is an integral part of the therapy of autism. After all, to help a child you need to have strength, and this is very difficult, for example, in severe forms of ASD. Therefore, parenting support is a key topic in any approach, which will be discussed during the course.” 

Irina Sergienko: “The topic of puberty in autistic children is not discussed enough, but it cannot be avoided. An autistic person needs to be properly prepared before puberty, to be explained the key points of the period and changes to which children with ASD react very sharply.” 

The course consists of 4 modules, has 140 hours of lectures, and a rich program for 3 months. In addition to lectures, the program provides for group discussions, practical work with a specific child at the choice of the student and/or on the example of a teacher’s case, assessment, and analysis of practical results, creating an intervention plan and strategy, setting goals, homework, act.

Course structure:

  1. Diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, 33 hours, 9 lessons. Lecturers: Stephen Shore, Inna Sergienko. Students will become familiar with methods of diagnosis and intervention for autism spectrum disorders of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd severity levels and comorbidities. The module focuses on the principles of suitable interventions for a specific person with ASD. The topic of support for parents of autistic children is also considered within the module because, without the resource of adults, high-quality assistance to a child with a disorder is impossible. 
  2. Ergotherapy. 42 hours, 9 lessons. Lecturers: Inna Olshanskaya, Irina Sergienko. The module introduces students to the role and objectives of occupational therapy as a scientifically proven and effective intervention tool for autism spectrum disorders in children from birth to adolescence. Information is important for both specialists and parents of autistic children because the students will set and achieve therapeutic goals using specific examples and their cases. The second part of the module invites students to familiarize themselves with the basics of puberty, the rules of behavior, and parental conversations about sex with autistic children. 
  3. Students with profound to moderate autism. 33 hours, 9 lessons. Lecturers: Stephen Shore, Inna Sergienko. The module highlights the experience and knowledge of the best strategies to support people with ASD. It is about creating educational and remedial plans for people with an appropriate level of autism severity based on lifelong support. 
  4. Students with Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, and Comorbid Disorders. 33 hours, 9 lessons. Lecturers: Stephen Shore, Inna Sergienko. The module introduces students to global practice and opportunities to support people with level 1 autism for the latter to achieve success in life. “The main challenge is to make autistic success not the exception, but the rule,” says Stephen Shore. 

All classes will take place in live online training on the Zoom platform. The course is paid, it can be purchased completely or modularly at the request of the student, but the price of the full course is much lower. All students who complete the practical part of the course receive international certificates.

For the detailed program click here https://adelphi.cwf.com.ua/?fbclid=IwAR2qA8WF1UhY6hptLunu6ZDDC8CFf_0yOBDVneC_huDMhx-4-lhKA6q8rEw

The major feature of the course is its practicality because 90% of the information – is a practical assignment for specialists and parents, analysis of specific cases of work with autistic children of varying severity, homework, and interactive communication with lecturers. 

“The best knowledge is not always available due to the language barrier. I studied the course with Stephen Shore and even with my good English it was very difficult. Therefore, we proposed to Adelphi University (New York) to create the International Autism Academy. And they were delighted with our idea. Make the course available to the countries of the former CIS. Attract specialists from different countries. Offer an international certificate upon completion. And this is just the beginning. We have big plans, and we hope that in the future it will even be possible to get an American diploma,” says Inna Sergienko.

A recording of the broadcast of a special online stream can be viewed at the link. Also, everyone can still pose a question in the comments and learn more about a world-class course on autism, unique for Ukraine and the post-Soviet countries. 

We will inform you additionally about the dates and conditions of the course in 2022. Follow our news and take care of yourself!