In September 2020, The “Non-formal learning Activities for Autistic Teenagers in Europe” project (known as the NAATE project) launched a Booklet of Good Practice to share helpful ideas for leisure and non-formal activities for autistic teenagers. This 22 month long Erasmus+ project aims to support improvements in non-formal education for autistic teenagers across Europe.
The inclusion of autistic teenagers in non-formal learning activities such as art, yoga, sailing and activities with animals can support the development of their social skills. The NAATE project has been working to deliver trainings to youth workers in order to support them in developing their professional skills to provide non-formal learning activities to autistic teenagers.
To make information about the inclusion of autistic teenagers in non-formal learning available on a larger scale, project partners created a Booklet of Good Practice. The booklet aims to provide valuable information for designing and developing non-formal learning activities in order to achieve positive interactions and improve learning for autistic teenagers.
To create the booklet, an online platform was utilised to help project partners reach out to individuals and organisations to gather initiatives and good practices for implementing non-formal learning activities. Project partners developed specific criteria for selecting the practices which took safety, infrastructure and methodology into consideration. The booklet includes practical tips for conducting non-formal educational activities and 4 detailed examples of good practices from different types of activities.
The project will be coming to an end in November 2020 and at this time the sustainability phase of the project will commence. This phase involves the promotion of the NAATE online platform, the signed commitment from two governments to continue the efforts of NAATE, and the wider dissemination of the Booklet of Good Practice.
A sincere thank you to all contributors involved in the creation of this Booklet of Good Practice. A Special thanks to Informa Psicología y Deporte (Spain), Plisti Plasta uretan Kirol Kluba (Spain), Blue Firefly (North Macedonia), Diversamente (Italy), and Centar za autizam (Croatia) who had their practices selected in line with the outlined guidelines.
The NAATE partners come from three EU member states – providing autism specific services or educational support for learners with additional support needs – and have a wide range of skills. The project coordinator, Asociación Mi Hijo y Yo from Spain will work closely with the other partners: the NCD Calloway Continuing Education Ltd. – AASP (Autism Assessment Support Practice) from Cyprus, and Autism-Europe.