Asperger’s syndrome is an element of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Above all, people with Asperger’s have difficulty with social, sensory, and communication skills. According to the Polish Psychiatric Association (Psychiatria III/2019), the most common diagnosis given today in child psychiatry is in fact ASD. Diagnoses of this kind are given increasingly frequently for adults. Institutional support is not perfect, but it provides specific help and it is a worthwhile option for anybody in need. Unfortunately, a parent or adult given this kind of diagnosis cannot get complete information on all of the options. The education, local government, medical certification system, etc. each operate separately. All-embracing support, addressing comprehensively the question of what to do once the diagnosis has been given, is not available.
The project comprises operation of a helpline for people with Asperger’s and autism, their families, and other stakeholders from all over Poland.
We will employ two or three people with disabilities (self-advocates with ASD) who will be able to operate the helpline with little organizational support. We will produce an information pack with vital information for people who are newly diagnosed and their families, and train people who are going to work on the helpline. Callers will be given reliable information about autism and where to get help, but will also obtain information about functioning with ASD directly from people who have it. We want to draw attention to the project, and for this reason we are taking great care when making preparations for promotional activities.
As a result of the project, 180 people will learn more about the institutional help for people with autism. Two or three people with disabilities will undergo training and will become more self-confident.