YouthASD – Upskilling youth organizations for the inclusion of people with ASD
An Erasmus+ project aiming to contribute to the inclusion of young people with ASD in youth activities.
Grant Agreement Number: KA220-YOU-2021-029
Funded by: Erasmus+ Duration: 01/04/2022 – 01/04/2024
Active participation in community and social activities is beneficial for a young person’s health and development, including those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A number of studies (Orsmond, G.I., et al., 2013; Billstedt, E., et al., 2011; Robertson, S.M., 2010; Renty, J.O. & Roeyers, H., 2006) have shown the importance of social participation of youth with ASD and its strong correlation with improved quality of life. These studies highlight the negative impact of social isolation and lack of community integration for those youth, emphasizing the need for more social support resources.
Yet so far, inclusion programmes have been primarily focused on young people with physical disabilities and little attention is directed to people with ASD and their inclusion in youth and integration initiatives. At the same time, there is a noticeable lack of courses and resources for youth organizations and youth workers on ASD and how to include young people with ASD in their activities. In order to tackle this issue, there is a high need for the upskilling of local and community youth organizations, so they can include youth with ASD in their initiatives and match their services with this need to support the psychosocial development and independence of people with ASD.
The Youth ASD project aims to contribute to the inclusion of young people with ASD in youth activities, by equipping youth workers and organizations with a new, innovative and accessible learning opportunity in order to develop programs that can accept people with ASD.