Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia issued a certificate of cooperation between The Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions of Serbia (DEAPS) and US organization, Autism Speaks (AS), on 26 September 2016.
Autism speaks is one of the leading world organizations dealing with problems of children and parents of children with autism (https://www.autismspeaks.org/). The prevalence of developmental disorders in children, especially autism spectrum disorders, is on the rise around the world in recent years. You can find out more about AS global initiatives in this brochure (GAPH brochure 2017).
Cooperation between DEAPS and AS will be achieved through three segments:
- Translating AS brochures into Serbian (you can download translated brochures here) (from 1-11)
- Help in conducting a detailed survey among parents whose children are already diagnosed with autism in order to make an analysis of the needs and challenges that the families of these children face. In this way, through a clearer understanding of these problems, the national response can be improved. You can download the survey here (SEAN Caregiver Needs Survey).
- Implementation of skills training (pilot) of parents of children with developmental disabilities (The Parent Skills Training Program - PST Program) whose primary objective is to promote better understanding, recognition and acceptance of developmental disorders by their parents, as well as training for the application of skills that will promote child development, communication and operation. The program will contribute to reducing stigma toward children with developmental disabilities and their parents, and will result in promoting inclusion and participation of children with developmental disabilities in the community. "Autism Speaks" program is carried out in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). You can download a brochure about the program here (PST info sheet).
It is planned that these activities take place during the next three years, with the possibility of extending cooperation. It would be implemented on the territory of the Republic of Serbia, with the active participation and technical support from DEAPS and the Association of Parents of Children with Autism. It is a non-profit project based on the collaboration of professionals and supporters.
Autism Speaks and DEAPS are supported by:
- Federation of Serbian Associations for helping people with autism (an organization of parents of children with autism)
- National Expert Commission for mental health (Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia), which gave its positive opinion on the proposed collaboration and cooperation, and considers it very significant.