In Murcia (Spain)
Volunteering with people with Autism and Asperger Syndrome
DESCRIPTION OF THE ORGANIZATION
ASTRADE is a non-profit organization born in 1996 from the union of families that have at least one person with autism. The main aim is to improve the quality of life of people with mental disorder and their families. The ASTRADE Assembly includes more than 300 families spread throughout the Region of Murcia. ASTRADE has a Board of Directors whose primary function is to manage and to represent the Association. In addition, to develop the plans designed by the Board, ASTRADE has a professional group of hundred people, and an important group of volunteers that work with them.
Our aim is to guarantee the well-being and improve the quality of life of the people with autism, and their families, along the different periods of their life.
The specific objectives of ASTRADE are:
• To empower the person with autism giving them an integral attention, starting from the prevention and passing by specific interventions, in order to carry out an improvement in their quality of life.
• To work with the families (hosting, informing, counselling and training) with the objective to reach the family integration as a basic step for social integration.
ASTRADE is member of “FEAPS Region de Murcia”, and of the “Spain Confederation of Autism”.
ASTRADE give the following services to its members and users:
SERVICES FOR MEMBERS/USERS: Psycho-pedagogic Assessment, Educative Support, Psycho-social Support, Asperger Group, Workshop Activities, Swimming pool, Summer Camp, Summer School, Free time Activities for Adults and Scholars, Psychomotor education, Music-Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Toy Library, Multi-sensorial Stimulation, Employment Support.
SERVICES FOR PARENTS: Psychological Support, Family Attention Service, Family Break Support, Parents School, “Brother and Grandparent School”, Family Visit, General Intervention in the Family Context, and Connivance Support.
Actually, ASTRADE develop its services in the region of Murcia, intervening in more than 100 educative centres across the region. ASTRADE has four centre in four different cities:
⋅ Molina de Segura.
⋅ Ribera de Molina.
To develop the activities with young people affected by the autism and/or the Asperger Syndrome, the ASTRADE have different methodology and typology of work:
- Non-formal educational activities.
- Psychological treatment.
- Emotional support.
Most of the activities are principally carrying out in the centre of Molina de Segura. Molina de Segura is a municipality of Spain, with a population of 68,511 inhabitants (2012). At the distance of 8 km from the city of Murcia.
Molina de Segura is one of the most industrialized cities of the southeast of Spain, for its food industry and for a strong agricultural sector. The main products are stone fruits, citruses, almonds and olives, etc.
In one hand, ASTRADE develop most of its actions in Molina de Segura “Day Centre”, guaranteeing the basic support to the users and developing the daily activities with them. On the other hand, the project activities takes place in Murcia, in this centre our users spend their leisure time and they do different social activities.
ACTIVITIES OF THE PROJECT
The Volunteer develop the project activities in Molina de Segura “Day Centre”. In this centre, the users with autism spectrum disorder receive comprehensive treatment that includes all dimensions of adaptive abilities, to be able to integrate them in the society. In addition, the volunteer activities will also take place in the city of Murcia, where the users spend their free time and they do different socio-cultural activities. In this case, the volunteer will accompany them (with the support of one or more people) to facilitate their mobility and the participation in these activities.
The mains tasks of the volunteer are:
- To support the development and the implementation of employment programs and the transition of users from the adolescence to adulthood life.
- To support the occupational activities and the basic skills workshops.
- To support the daily activities of the users, inside and outside the centre, for example:
- Support the swimming pool workshop (Intervention in the aquatic environment);
- Organic gardening workshop;
- Ecological shop;
- Support to sell products;
- Support the craft workshop (pottery, glass and leather);
- Support the daily life activities (cleaning, cooking, etc.);
- Support the speech therapy and the communication skills workshop;
- Support the multi-sensorial and music therapy workshop;
- Support the employment workshop;
- Support the free time activities;
- Support the sexuality workshop.
The volunteer carry out all these activities with the supervision of the professionals, the assistants and the tutors in the different classrooms of the centres located in Molina de Segura and in the city of Murcia.
ASTRADE gives the opportunity to learn, with the support of our technical team, the principal areas related to the intervention in case of autism disease. The volunteer will take part in specialized training to acquire the basic skills and knowledge on a specific profile of disability. In addition, if the volunteer have a similar academic qualification to the professional workers of the Centre, is possible complement this competences with formal training.
The volunteers will also have the opportunity to learn, communicate and acquire the Spanish language, which will be useful at work, and during the leisure time.
PROFILE OF THE VOLUNTEER
About the recommendable profile of the volunteer (not excluding other profiles): first is important the motivation and the maturity of the volunteer. Second, ASTRADE value those people who have interest in doing activities and interacting with people affected by autism (specially with Asperger syndrome), and those people who show interest in psychology, pedagogy, special education and the world of disability in general. We also value those volunteers interested in creative ceramics, glass management and organic farming activities.