Today, the UN recognizes and celebrates World Autism Awareness Day. Vencer Autismo, a resident from the Casa do Impacto’s community, wants to fight stigma and promote understanding about this neurodivergence!

4 min read.

Autism is not a disease but a spectrum of neurodiversity. People with brains that function atypically are highly sensory and react more to external stimuli, posing significant challenges.

  • > “Autism Spectrum Disorder – ASD” or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a concept that is used and can then be specified depending on the level of support needed (1, 2 or 3)

Around 1% of all people globally are estimated to have Autism, with variations in some countries. However, the definitive numbers and causes of Autism are not yet known.

What is known is that Autism affects people of all genders, all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds.

Research into the causes suggests that there may be a combination of factors – genetic and environmental – that may be responsible for differences in development. Indeed, it is not caused by education nor by social circumstances.Unfortunately, there is no “cure”; however, several strategies and approaches can help develop the person with Autism, reduce their difficulties, and promote their potential and inclusion.

Vencer Autismo ‘s belief, proven by its performance over the last 10 years, is that all people can live a life with greater well-being, autonomy and the possibility of making their own choices. It believes that, with or without Autism, all people are unique, and this uniqueness makes the human species so rich. The big problem is the stigma associated with autism dues to the lack of knowledge and understanding about this neuro-divergence.

Vencer Autismo was born from a love story between Susana and Joe. His daughter (Joe’s stepdaughter), Caui, was then 8 years old and diagnosed with Autism, making her unable to attend school (learn more about the story here).

In the early years, Vencer Autismo focused on helping children with Autism through therapies. However, experience showed them that the great challenge was not people with Autism, but society (parents, educators, health professionals, etc.), usually due to lack of knowledge about the condition, developed fears and perpetuated stigmas. Today, Vencer Autismo has the mission to reduce the negative stigma on Autism so that it is understood and accepted by all.

The intervention model includes Lectures, Workshops, Masterclasses and Mentorships, which promote the sharing of knowledge, techniques and specific strategies for all those who contact, directly and indirectly, with people with Autism, thus contributing to the full development of each person’s potential.

Entender Autismo – This program was developed after many years of research, and its training model aims to:

  • > increase knowledge and reduce the negative stigma of Autism;
  • > Enhance positive effects on caregivers, people with Autism and the whole context;
  • > Increase the live quality of caregivers (parents, family members, teachers, assistants, therapists, psychologists, doctors and nurses);
  • > Increase the life quality and positive development of people with Autism;
  • > Growing a more inclusive community/society.

Entender Autismo (Understand Autism) program is part of the Partnerships for Impact program from Portugal Inovação Social, co-financed by Portugal 2020, POISE (Social Inclusion and Employment Operational Program) and the European Social Fund, thus creating the opportunity for free events and free mentorships (for the 100 Municipalities in the Center covered by the Partnerships for Impact program).

Vencer Autismo permanently measures the impact of its actions to adjust what is necessary to fulfil its mission of reducing the negative stigma of Autism and empowering all those who deal with people with Autism. Between 2011 and 2021, it has already achieved in numbers:

  • > 379 events with more than 65,600 people impacted
  • > 575 mentoring sessions and 80 impacted caregivers
  • > 207 coffee sessions with over 1613,700 views
  • > + 238,084 likes on FB and 745,916 views on Youtube
  • > 255 Free Lectures (208 in-person & 50 online) 81,899 registered 45,703 participants
  • > 51 Free Workshops (37 face-to-face & 14 online) 11,817 subscribers | 6,661 participants
  • > 15 Masterclasses (paid events/ online) 4,853 subscribers | 3,508 participants
  • > 575 Mentoring sessions (paid or free/ by phone call or online) + 80 caregivers benefiting from the service

On World Autism Awareness Day, today (and always), get involved and contribute to this cause!

  • > TODAY, in the race and walk for Autism in Porto, organized by Esporte UPorto, to celebrate the day and raise awareness on the topic. Vencer Autismo will be present and appeals to everyone’s presence! Subscriptions here!
  • > On April 7th, another lecture (online and free) of Vencer Autismo! In detail and with a 360º view, it presents challenges associated with Autism, possible causes and priority areas for the development of the person with Autism. Anyone who wants a certificate can request it at registration, contributing with a minimum €5 donation! Sign up free here!

So that Vencer Autismo events can continue free and accessible, they largely depend on generous donations! See how to donate or contribute 0.5% of your IRS to Vencer Autismo here!

Learn more about Vencer Autismo here, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Youtube!

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