On February 25th 2022, Autism-Europe (AE) hosted the final online international multiplier event of the IPA2 project. Participants from across Europe, had the chance to learn more about its results. The IPA2 project – Improving school transition and its objectives – is an Erasmus+ project that aims at decreasing difficulties that students on the autism spectrum face, specifically during the transition from primary to secondary school, in order to tackle risks of early school leaving and disadvantage. The project targets teachers as well as autistic students and their peers to reduce risks of social exclusion, school failure, and school dropout. It aims at fostering a more inclusive, empathetic and supportive perspective amongst education professionals and non-autistic peers.
First, Sandra Martinez Molina, the project coordinator from Polibienestar Research Institute presented the results of the survey of education professionals conducted in Spain, Portugal and Serbia. The survey results were used as a basis to develop the curricular content for the pilot training course for teachers on improving scholar transitions from primary to secondary school for autistic students. She also presented the guidelines and supporting videos developed by the consortium.
Fostering a better understanding of the experiences of autistic students
The videos designed by Autismo Burgos feature testimonies from autistic people to help highlight the difficulties they face at school and help non-autistic peers and education staff better understand their experiences. They are also meant to trigger a reflection on how to better support them. All videos can be found here: IPA2 – Improving School Transitions – YouTube. The videos received positive feedback from the attendees, as they highlighted that they are realistic and beneficial for students and teachers.
IPA2 project partners also conducted a pilot training with teachers and professionals working in the education field in order to test the developed curricular contents. Dr. Fernando Campilho, from Federação Portuguesa de Autismo, presented the results of the implementation of the pilot course in Portugal. The results highlighted that education professionals found the training overall effective and useful.
The IPA2 results and tools are freely available online
Furthermore, an e-learning platform has been developed to host and share all the materials created during the project. Maddalena Sebastiani, from Social IT, introduced the various features of the platform. The e-learning platform and the materials can be freely access in several languages here: https://www.ipa2project.eu/moodle/
Guest speaker, Dr Ruth Moyse (AT-Autism) closed the event. Dr Moyse shared results of her research on understanding persistent absenteeism from the perspectives of autistic adolescent girls who stop attending school, highlighting their recommendations to inform practice and make schools more inclusive.
More information about the project: www.ipa2project.eu