Established by the United Nations in 2007, World Autism Awareness Day is recognised every year on 2nd April. This year, it is more important than ever to raise awareness about inclusion, as the COVID pandemic has forced us all to reinvent our daily lives, reducing spaces and interactions with a profound impact on everyone’s lives, especially children with disabilities. However, technology has been a crucial ally in expanding our horizons: thanks to increasingly high-performance applications, functional solutions have been developed to support children with autism spectrum disorders and their caregivers. In 2020, Fondazione Stefano ed Angela Danelli took immediate action in this sense and launched a remote rehabilitation in the province of Lodi.
Working remotely with children affected by autism can be extremely difficult. According to research by Prof. Leonardo Zoccante and Dr. Elena Sironi, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) need a daily routine, which, unfortunately, has been interrupted. Managing ASD requires a series of small daily steps to help children strengthen their relationship with reality through a well-defined routine. Difficulties controlling their emotions, communicating and handling social interaction demand continuous, sensitive care which is at risk of being undermined - and in some cases made impossible - by this forced reinvention of our daily lives due to the pandemic.
Fondazione Danelli’s response, supported by the social entrepreneurship initiative “I Bambini delle Fate”, was immediate and focused on new strategies and innovative ways of supporting children and their families through remote ABA therapy. The daily remote rehabilitation activities revolve around the therapists and the caregivers themselves, who have always accompanied the children as they continue to pursue educational and rehabilitative strategies in order to apply their abilities of engaging in small creative activities, developing the skills necessary to organise and play a game.