In Milan on 11 and 12 May, the conference organised by EDRA and Edizioni LSWR in collaboration with Cuore Mente lab, a partner in the SIMPL4ALL project, focused on the transition to adulthood and job placement for people on the autism spectrum.
In Italy, 1 in 77 people are on the autism spectrum.
There is a peak of up to 30% of the population taking into consideration ‘neurodivergent’ people, i.e. people whose brain learns and processes information in a different way from what society expects.
Among them, we can find people with autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, etc.
More support is needed to promote the inclusion and employment of these people, explained Toni Attwood, who is considered the leading international expert on the diagnosis and treatment of people with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism known as ‘high-functioning’ and presented the Italian edition of his book ‘Autism at Work’.
“What we need is a society that is more open to neurodivergence, in schools, in the world of work and the media: representing people in the Spectrum not because they are disabled or clumsy but because of their skills – as is the case in the series The Good Doctor helps to change attitudes towards autism”. We need an early diagnosis and tools to improve emotional management, social-relational skills and executive functions. Educators, teachers and all learning facilitators need specific training. Employers and colleagues need help promoting the inclusion of all and the valorisation of various talents.
“The solution is to come together”, Attwood reiterated. Employers and colleagues must make an effort and people on the spectrum also need to help others understand them. For this reason, it is crucial working on language and all those elements that can enable learning facilitators to support people with different learning styles and social skills, facilitating dialogue and providing respectful and safe learning spaces for everybody.
The European project SIMPL4ALL, after the Handbook on Simplified Language as a valuable support for inclusive education, is now devoting itself to developing recommendations for teachers and trainers, exercises and teaching materials. The learning resources will compound a Toolkit, ready for piloting in the next school year. During the project, we are drawing up some guides for different learning facilitators; among them, family members and peers will play an important role.
Find out more in the resources section of the website or get in touch with the project team: