An AHA Advisory Board Member has visited Russia on several occasions to assist Our Sunny World. In October of 2016, Our Sunny World founder, Igor Shpirsberg and his Assistant Director, Daria Blinova, visited the United States and met with Dr. Stephen Shore and Pat Schissel, Executive Director of AHA. All attended one of AHA’s adult support groups at Spectrum Services in New York City. Planning is currently underway for AHA to assist with Our Sunny World support groups.
Our Sunny World
Founded in 1991, Our Sunny World is one of the first organizations in Russia that helps children and young adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental challenges rehabilitate and adapt to become healthy members of the society.
Each week the center is visited by over three hundred children aged one-and-a-half years and older and young adults with autism and other developmental challenges. Here, they are helped by seventy highly qualified specialists and volunteers to adapt to the society. For over twenty years, our specialists have helped change the quality of life of several thousand children and their families. With the help of Our Sunny World, many children with ASD are able to attend regular day care, schools (correctional, as well as regular), and have a socially active lifestyle. The friendly and warm atmosphere of the Center cares, brings hope and self-belief, and inspires.
Our Sunny World was the first Russian center to organize and conduct the inclusive summer rehabilitation camp (in 1992) for its clients with the support of the Ministry of Social Protection of the Russian Federation. The Center conducts summer camps every year.
Our Sunny World continually passes on the experience that its specialists have gathered over its history. The Center regularly holds round tables, seminars and trainings for rehabilitation specialists from Moscow and other regions, and for parents and grandparents of children with ASD.
Center professionals present at various conferences held under the patronage of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Protection. Additionally, Our Sunny World participates in many professional and social councils, including those associated with the Ministry of Health, Education and Social Protection of the Russian Federation and actively participates in creating the necessary environment for people with autism and their families. The main goal is the development of systems/institutions for effective early diagnostics, early help, inclusiveness, job placement, family help, and positive social environments for people with autism.
Through the Rehabilitation Centre for Children with ASD, OUR SUNNY WORLD works to improve:
- Early Diagnostics;
- Early Intervention;
- Support of children with ASD in the education system –group of preparation for kindergarten and school;
- Social adaptation of teenagers and young people with ASD;
- Social projects for young people and adults with severe forms of ASD – social employment, the self-control and self-service skills, supported living
- Supporting Centre for people with Asperger’s syndrome – development, education, employment, social adaptation of adults with high-functional forms of autism and Asperger’s syndrome (President – Dr. Stephen Shore)
- Support for families with children and adults with ASD (training workshops for parents and grandparents; individual and family counseling of psychologists;
- Development of technical means of communication for children and adults with ASD and other disabilities: In 2012 OUR SUNNY WORLD released the first app in Russia designed to help nonverbal children with autism to communicate easily.
- Raising awareness about autism.
Web site for Our Sunny World: www.oursunnyworld.org