The Delia Foundation will provide education for autistic orphans/foster care children in Barlad, Romania, including specialized teacher training. A label of autism prevents a child from attending school. By providing teacher and community education, we can change the way these children are labeled and introduce them into the mainstream school system. Our goal is to give 60 children with skills needed to become productive adults, through our Delia's Learning Center which serves disabled children.
In Romania, 85% of children registered with the government as autistic are not enrolled in school. In rural Barlad, Romania, the percentage is higher especially for children in the Child Protection System. Teachers being poorly prepared to work with autistic children in the typical school environment is a main cause of reduced enrollment. When children are denied an education and age out of child protection they will be moved to an adult institution or turned out to live on the streets.
The Delia Foundation provides life skills training to children who are orphans in foster care. Our teachers, psychologists and advocates are educated in evidence-based teaching methods based on the science of learning and behavior. Autistic children in our program have increased language and communication skills and improved both social and academic potential. Home life for families is improved as foster parents are taught how to best communicate and offer positive reinforcement to their child.
This project educates teachers and psychologists in a region with little support for those with autism. It offers opportunities enabling 200+ children to be integrated into mainstream schooling. By providing life skills and education, these children can become productive adults contributing to their community, find meaningful work, and no longer be at risk of institutionalization. Education inclusion will help erase the stigma, social labeling, and discrimination that currently exists.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
The Delia Foundation