Since the launch of the IPA2 project, partners have been working to develop and execute the project’s activities. The activities of the IPA2 project aim to reduce the problem of school vulnerability of autistic students in the transition from primary to secondary school.
In its initial phase, the project has been utilising co-creation methodologies to develop a curriculum as well as learning modules. Three co-creation sessions took place in Spain, Portugal and Serbia and had more than 64 teachers, family members and autistic students involved. Given the current state of emergency caused by Covid-19, the sessions were held online. During the sessions experiences, opinions and expertise were shared in order to better understand the challenges autistic students face during the transition from primary to secondary school. Autistic students were involved during the entire design phase of the curriculum and modules, being themselves the authors of the solution offered by the project.
Preliminary results obtained in the sessions have shown the areas in which greater knowledge is needed by primary and secondary teachers in order to improve the transition for autistic students. In addition, the testimonies of autistic students during these sessions highlighted the problems that they face in the educational field and therefore provide insight into causes of absenteeism. Based on the results obtained in each country, it was concluded that there are several areas in which it is necessary to reinforce the knowledge of teachers and staff.
These areas include:
- Basic knowledge about autism;
- Needs and problems of students with autism;
- Intervention strategies and skills needed;
- Coordination strategies.
Taking into consideration the areas in which more knowledge is needed, the members of the project have developed a draft of the training course to be implemented. This draft is currently being validated by around 90 teachers from Spain, Portugal and Serbia.
The next stage of the project is to develop a syllabus of the training modules which will guide members of the project in creating the contents of the training course.