Bringing humanity, support and education to special needs families in dehumanizing situations
Our Founding Story
A Global Voice for Autism was founded in 2012 by Melissa Diamond after she met a family of a young girl with autism during her international travels. The family hid their daughter with autism at home due the autism stigma and lack of services available in their community. What started as an effort to help a single child has since grown into a non-profit organization that works globally to support children with autism, learning differences and trauma-related behavioral challenges in communities where these children's opportunities are limited due to conflict.
To date, A Global Voice for Autism has supported more than 10,000 teachers, families and community members in Turkey, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, the Minneapolis Somali Community, Algeria and Greece and has remotely supported families in Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Why We Need Your Help
Because we work in communities that have been affected by conflict and communities with limited resources, the funding available from within these communities is often scarce, although the need for support is significant.
We currently have a big project on our hands, and we need YOUR help to bring it to fruition:
The Turkish-Syrian Integrated Inclusion Initiative
Why This? Why Now?
The city that has requested our support in Turkey is home to more than 300,000 Syrian refugees, more than half of whom are school aged. The 2018-19 school year will see the full closure of Syrian schools in the city and the integration of Syrian children into the Turkish public school system.
Furthermore, there are more than 1,000 children with autism diagnoses in the Turkish and Syrian communities in the city, the majority of whom are excluded from the school system due to a lack of teachers who are trained to support them. For children with learning differences who currently attend the public schools, parents report that their children often struggle to learn through current teaching approaches and teachers report that they lack the capacity to teach classrooms of students with diverse learning needs.
Without support, children with diverse learning needs risk being excluded from the school system or sitting in classrooms where their learning needs are ignored. With your help, A Global Voice for Autism can support the development of inclusive classrooms where children with autism, learning differences and trauma-related behavioral challenges can learn and reach their full potential.
How We Can Help. How You Can Help.
The municipality and the Ministry of Education have asked for A Global Voice for Autism's support due to our strong track record of equipping conflict-affected communities to support their children with autism, learning dfifferences and trauma related challenges. This program will:
-Train teacher trainers by: Equipping 40 teachers from 20 schools with the skills to support diverse learning needs in their classrooms through training in evidence-based practices for inclusive education and trauma-informed education. These teachers will then train other teachers in their schools in learned practices under the supervision of A Global Voice for Autism and its community partners.
-Train family trainers by: Equipping 30 parents with the skills to support children with autism in home and community-based settings through training in evidence-based practices. These families with then train other families in the community under the supervision of A Global Voice for Autism and its community partners.
-Provide psychosocial support through: Family Support and Self-Development groups for parents and siblings that offer safe spaces to share experiences and build community while learning strategies for self-care and building self-confidence.
-Increase community infrastructures for inclusion through: Strategic partnerships with the Ministry of Education, the local municipality, the local university and the local autism family foundation.
Unfortunately, the current political situation in Turkey poses challenges to fundraising. We have all necessary permissions to run this program including partnerships on the municipal level and the support of the Ministry of Education. So far, we have 70% of funds needed to launch the program. The last piece of the puzzle is YOUR support.