The World Changing Centre is a UK registered charity, run by volunteers. We provide international relief Aid to underprivileged children and young people (5-25) in Sierra Leone. Here in the UK we have started running a Saturday club for families with Autistic children within our local community Greenwich. This year, we are embarking on play therapy, sensory circus, and music therapy projects to engage both parents and their young children between the ages of (10 to 19) to support and understand each other’s world.
Our Saturday Club, which involve art/painting, Music and mentoring to help build confidence, removing barriers and also making impact in children’s lives. All our young people will work in a small group or one to one depending on their needs-to explore their ability in the above activities every Saturday. Our music therapy session will engage our youths with autism who are also nonverbal because many low-functioning children have difficulty following verbal commands, and have difficult time with social awareness like understanding body language. Children with autism are more sensitive to anxiety than the average child, as they are unable to filter out provoking stimuli. Weekly music therapy sessions will also improve overall behaviour .Our Art therapy session will motivate children with autism to engage in one-on-one sessions show an improved ability to imagine and think symbolically, enhanced ability to recognize and respond to facial expressions, new ability to manage sensory issues. At the end of each month we would have a display with photos using their work so show parents their talents. Throughout the year we will provide four hours session every Saturday to support and explore their artistic abilities.
During next summer we would like to organize WCC painting festival in the South East of London. . This project will involve carrying out research on the benefits of parents working together with their children with Autism and barriers to engagement in building therapeutic relationships. To resolve these we will engage with schools, parents and other agencies to see what is possible and the best ways of working with African parent in Greenwich.
Area of Work
Greenwich has the high level of deprivation, ranking as the 8th most deprived borough in London and has the 10th highest level of child poverty out of the 32 boroughs in the capital. However, Greenwich is also a borough of great contrasts and diversity. Most ASD children grow up in areas of deprivation with poor housing and without access to resources or activities. There is also high rate of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) within the borough.
The proportion of children with statements of special educational needs (SEN) in Greenwich is higher than the national rate.
· The rate is 1.6% in primary schools, compared with the national rate of 1.4%, and
· The rate is 3.5% in secondary schools, compared with the national rate of 2.0%.
The school census has been collecting data on the language spoken by children and young people since January 2007. There are 13,176 children and young people in Greenwich schools who have English as an additional language (EAL).
· There are at least 140 languages other than English spoken in Greenwich schools.
It is estimated that between 3.1% and 5.7% of the total Greenwich population aged 0 to 17 are disabled children. The Annual Public Health Report (2010) and our local disabled children needs analysis indicates that there is a growing number of children and young people with severe disabilities, who are also likely to have complex health needs. Rates of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and with conduct disorder are estimated to be higher in Greenwich than in the country as a whole.
The prevalence of mental health difficulties is highest among looked after children and children with special educational needs requiring statutory assessment, particularly where their primary need is a learning difficulty or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
Up to thirty-percent of children with autism are nonverbal, and many low-functioning children have difficulty following verbal commands, and have difficult time with social awareness like understanding body language. Children with autism are more sensitive to anxiety than the average child, as they are unable to filter out provoking stimuli.
Weekly music therapy sessions will improve overall behavior, with the most improvement seen in their behavior .Research also shown that Children experienced hour-long sessions of music therapy once a week will improve their conduct behavior like restlessness, aggression and noisiness. We believe music therapy session will improve the group from the above mentioned. In addition Music therapy is engaging and enjoyable for Autistic children because it brings about change in their social behavior and cognitive ability through prolong sessions.ASD children can engage in music therapy without having it feel like work.
Children with autism are so visually oriented, it makes perfect sense to engage them in art activities, be it formally with an art therapist, casually in other classes or at home
Art therapists report that children with autism who engage in one-on-one sessions show an improved ability to imagine and think symbolically, enhanced ability to recognize and respond to facial expressions, new ability to manage sensory issues such as a range of texture and greater fine motor skills.
One of our students finds it exciting making homemade clay, the feeling of kneading the warm dough, then folding in the colours. I kept easels set up on the porch and she painted nearly every week. Doing art fostered pride in themselves and their creations.
Art gives children on the autism spectrum a powerful means to channel their inner life and experience. During quiet time at home, you could have your child make his or her own guide to feelings by having them draw pictures of “Happy,”“Sad,” “Scared,” “Mad” or “Frustrated” faces. Laminate or otherwise protect the pictures and have them on hand for your child to identify how he or she is feeling when words cannot. Buy them a sketch book and encourage them to keep a daily art journal. Creative self expression in all its myriad forms is going to be a key to enhancing your child’s well-being.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
How do people with autism see the world?
People with autism have said that the world, to them, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety.
Autism is part of the autism spectrum and is sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD.
The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are sometimes known as the ‘triad of impairments’. They are:
- difficulty with social communication
- difficulty with social interaction
- difficulty with social imagination.
It can be hard to create awareness of autism as people with the condition do not ‘look’ disabled: parents of children with autism often say that other people simply think their child is naughty; while adults find that they are misunderstood.
All people with autism can benefit from a timely diagnosis and access to appropriate services and support.