The Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences of the University of Zagreb (ERF) hosted two ASD-EAST pilot training sessions, one for specialist educators in special educational settings, and one for specialist educators supporting learners within mainstream and inclusive settings. Held on October 19 and 20, and on November 19 and 20 respectively, more than one hundred professionals benefit from presentations, case studies, trainer notes and other materials to upgrade their knowledge about autism spectrum disorders, and inclusive education.
Both training sessions were run by project partners from ERF (Matea Begić, Jasmina Stošić, and Sanja Aguila Munoz) and from the Centar za Autizam (Ana Ružić and Ivana Sladić Kljajić). In spite of the initial concern of the trainers that the turnout was not high enough, or how the professionals were going to accept the training, generally participants were all satisfied how the training went. In fact, a focus group will be settle in order to see what went well and which aspects need to be improved.
Participants were very engaged during the training sessions. They were asking questions, taking notes, and providing examples of their own experience. After the training, they highlighted that the pilot was useful, and the topics very interesting. Also, teachers from special and mainstream schools struggle with different problems, and so they had also different expectations.
In parallel to these sessions, other pilot trainings have been running both in Kisela Voda (North Macedonia), and in Cracow (Poland) throughout October and November 2019. In total, more than 300 professionals from all across those countries had already benefit of the ASD-EAST training for teachers, evaluated its quality, and provided their feedback in order to get an improved final version of the training at the end of the project in 2020.