Financial Goal $50,000$16,853 raised
The Problem Addressed by the Project
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder defined by various problems grouped in three areas: (a) Social interaction: Lack of interest in interacting with others, (b) Language and communication: Delayed or unusual linguistic and communicative development, and (c) Behaviors and interest: Repetitive, stereotyped, problematic behaviors and interests. Prevalence of autism has been rising considerably in the last several years and it is 1 in every 110 children in 2010. This prevalence rate makes autism the most prevalent neurological disorder of childhood. However, there are no dependable statistics regarding the prevalence of autism in Turkey. Hence, one can only make projections based on the world statistics.
Timeline: 07/01/2011 - 12/31/2013
The Goal of the Project
Autism is not curable but it is treatable. According to the research base, the most beneficial treatment approach is applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA treatments need to start in early childhood and be intensive. About half of the children who can receive such services make remarkable progress and continue their education in inclusive environments. That is, although seems to be expensive, early and intensive ABA services are very cost-effective for the society in the long period. On the other hand, the treatment options are numerous and it is not easy for parents to reach the most beneficial treatments for their children. Thus, it is necessary to raise awareness and disseminate ABA practices in the society.
Turkey is among the countries with the biggest need in this sense. The percentage of special needs students is about 1% in Turkey whereas it is 3-6% in Europe. This means that great majority of special needs children, many with autism, cannot receive special education services in Turkey. Furthermore, there is a lack of early identification and intensive ABA services in Turkey.
The Impact of the Project
Private Tohum Foundation Special Needs School has started its life in 2008-2009 academic year as a pilot school in its field, acknowledged by Ministry of National Education. Tohum Autism Foundation made a know-how agreement in 2005 with Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI), one of the leading institutions working on autism in USA. The goal of the agreement was to establish a school using the same model with the Institute, in Turkey. Our school:
• is the first to bring a different teaching method with scientific basis to our country and to implement it,
• Focuses on teaching of society based behaviors,
•Provides a private teacher to every student during the school hours and thus gives both one-to-one and group education to the children,
• Prepares individual education programmes for each child in line with the opinions of the families.
The annual cost of school program is 75.500 TL. As an alternative to the school program, we have two programs for the children who already attend a public school. Here are the details of these programs:
1. Students may attend twice a week and the monthly cost is 1.840 TL (VAT included),
2. Or they may attend the program three times a week and the monthly cost is 2.760 TL (VAT included),