The education

 

Angerlarsimaffik Uulineq, Autismeinstitution Grønland

Residential institutions for children, adolescents and adults with autism

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Angerlarsimaffik Uulineq ensures a whole in the children's everyday lives, the children's and young people's well-being, development and abilities.

 

Uulineq works as a home. In addition to support to attend school and help to carry out daily routines, everyday must also contain experiences and activities. It must be fun to be on Uulineq. To be in relationship to others is something that often can be difficult, that is why we see the great importance to structure playtime and activities, which creates and maintains relationships. Contact with the rest of society is also an important skill. We support the residents participate in the chopping, trips to attractions and cultural events. We help them find new interests, according to their own wishes and individual capabilities. We plan, visualizes and describes the new and unknown, so it will be clear and not so difficult to approach. We offer leisure activities outside the institution, such as climbing, swimming, skiing, cross-country biking and other sports. There are organized trips, where we fish, are skiing, are in the swimming facility, and visits to the movie theatre or fun park. We also use our immediate environment and nature. We keep traditions like Christmas and birthdays and put the emphasis on the changing of the seasons.

 

An environment with familiarity and predictability

In order to create as much peace and structure as possible, there is emphasis on that everyday life is punctuated by familiarity and predictability. Everyday activities are structured and visualised through forms such as pictograms (images which show the chronological order of the elements in an activity) such as brushing teeth, where the toothbrush must be found, the toothpaste is put on, then brushing of teeth and finally rinsing of the mouth. Such activities are usually taught routines, but for people with autism (and similar developmental disorders) occurs easily chaotic and with frustration, if not all elements are clear. In addition, we allow the residents to have a say in their own lives. From our special pedagogical approach, we work with social stories, comic strip conversations and the KAT-Kit (a conversation tool for use by people with difficulties in connection with empathy and social skills). The aim is to develop children's communication, and create contexts in social situations.

 

TEACCH

TEACCH means “Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children”. It is a pedagogical practice that is used for special education of children and adolescents with ASD in school age, but can be used with all ages. Basically, TEACCH is about respecting the autistic person's behaviour, and the rights to preserve his or her interests and peculiarity. We do not work to shape the resident to be a "normal" child through teaching, but instead we focus on the individual student's development opportunities, particularly with regard to the independence and scope for behaviour. TEACCH is not trying to change the autistic person's behaviour, but strive to benefit the underlying conditions that benefit the person's learning.

 

Basic ideas

There are three fundamental ideas in TEACCH: The Parents are involved and have influence on all decisions taken in the course of the treatment. The aid is lifelong and continuous. The experts in charge of the treatment, are genuine experts in the field of Autism, and can hence better acquaint themselves with the autistic person's mindset. The teaching is based on promoting communication and understanding through visualization and concretization in a firm structured framework. Instead of instructing the child verbally, there is emphasis on the use of visuals such as pictures of everyday items or tasks to be performed. Each child's needs are taken into account.

 

Order in the internal chaos

In the pedagogical work with people with autism, structure and clarity are some of the most important tools. The pedagogical methods based on an understanding of children's disabilities and difficulties from their organic brain dysfunctions. Their disability requires a particularly clear and well-structured special educational environment.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Children with autism spectrum disorder, ASF, have difficulties in three areas in particular.

The diagnosis is according to diagnosis system ICD-10 is characterized by:

 

1. Deviation in the social development.

2. Variation in communication ability.

3. Restricted and stereotyped behaviour patterns.

 

The symptoms usually show up in the child's first year of life. Parents may find that the qualitative contact with the child is not normal. It can be difficult to get eye contact and often the child will prefer activities alone. Its capacity for empathy is disturbed, ie. the child has a hard time understanding other people’s actions and intentions. Children with ASD will often appear to lack of situational awareness. They find it difficult to act in the social "traffic rules" and therefore sometimes violate the unwritten rules of acceptable social behaviour. Communication is seen as an inability to engage in dialogue and maintain a conversation. People with ASD often use a very specific language, which also may have a special personal meaning. As there is great need for specific communication, the person will often find it easier to relate to the imagery or pictograms, which emphasizes clarity and transparency.

In the deviant behaviour, one may tendency to repetition compulsion and ritual execution, for example, by opening and closing a door several times. One may see a strong attachment to individual objects or persons. Changes in everyday life can be experienced as anxiety-generating stress-factors in the person, which can lead to violent reactions, e.g. if a piece of furniture in a room has be replaced. That is why structure and recognition is the pillars in the attempt to create a secure existence for the autistic person.

 

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Interior design of the buildings

In addition to the residents own rooms, there are bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, net-café and a TV-room with various games, media players and television, as well as a library with a variety of books.

 

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The staff

Each resident has a contact person who has the primary contact for parents, relatives, school and workplaces. The staff is put together so we can provide the best care for the resident’s well-being and development.

 

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Meaning and learning in everyday life

The special pedagogic practice starts in the children's and young people's abilities and is inspired by the strength of the TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped CHildren). The Organization has developed a TEACCH treatment and an education concept that respect the person's way of experiencing the world and at the same time focuses on its potential. It takes place through teaching and the organisation of everyday life, as to be meaningful to the person. In everyday life, the resident’s physical and mental well-being is in focus. We believe that healthy food, socialising and an experience of being able to cope with today's tasks with the greatest possible autonomy is to give the person a greater quality in life. Learning is here an important common thread. Daily routines such as making the packed lunch, cook, clean, wash clothes and personal hygiene, requires support to develop.

 

The education