Experts from the United States held training seminars at the University

The other day our University hosted the delegation of experts from the United States of America: Robert Nickel – Behavioral Pediatrician (OHSU, Oregon, USA); Linda Schmidt (Director of the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry clinic at OHSU  (Oregon, USA), Allison Wainer (Clinical Psychologist, Rush University, Chicago, USA), Amy Swanson (Clinical Psychologist, STAT Supervisor (Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA), Tatiana Terdal (a mother of children with autism, an activist of the rights of children with disabilities, a member of the Board of the Autistic Family Advisory Committee in Oregon.) It is the second visit of the American colleagues to the university. They were invited by the Research Center of Cognitive Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Science Park “The Precarpathian University”

The program of their visit included the meeting with the Vice Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical work of the University Sergiy Sharin. During the conversation, the US lecturers thanked the University administration for their assistance in holding thematic events on autism problems and noted active cooperation with the Research Center of Cognitive Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Precarpathian University.

The American experts conducted open lectures, seminars and the round table on autism assistance. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most burning problems in the area of children and adolescents’ mental health care.

“Modern scientific discoveries and evidence-based therapeutic approaches can significantly help children with autism spectrum disorders in development and social integration. This is especially true for Ukraine during the period of reforming of both the health care system and the education system, and the introduction of inclusive education, in particular. In solving this problem, the consolidation of efforts of specialists from different fields, such as psychologists, educators, psychiatrists, neurologists, speech therapists, family doctors as well as parents and active citizens, plays an important role,” said Nadiia Kogutiak, Director of the Research Center of Cognitive Psychology and Psychotherapy.

For this purpose, the invited American lecturers conducted seminars on the topics: “Skills of early intervention: screening method for autism diagnosis STAT and the introduction to reciprocal imitation training RIT”; “Primary and secondary help in autism: diagnosis and ergotherapy of autism” and “Autistic child upbringing: how to promote socialization (for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders)”.

The seminar moderators include Associate Professor Nadiia Kogutiak (PhD, Director of the Research Center of Cognitive Psychology and Psychotherapy); Associate Professor Yuri Sidorik (PhD, Director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Modeling); Associate Professor Volodymyr Mytsko (PhD, Chairman of the Board of the NGO “Mental Health and Rehabilitation Center – SOFIA”).

More than 80 specialists and parents of autistic children from different regions of Ukraine took part in the seminars. During the training session, the participants, in a professional circle, discussed the modern, scientifically substantiated information about the recommended methods of assistance and in general modern understanding of the nature of autism spectrum disorders.

The American professors paid specific attention to the diagnostic skills using the STAT methodology and reciprocal imitation training RIT, which prove to be well-suited for working with autistic children.

The participants also exchanged their ideas and experience on autism assistance in the question/answer form.