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Armenia visits Shema Kolainu to Share Autism Education Successes

Leaders from Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices met with Armenian representatives to continue the initiatives to globalize autism treatment programs.

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 7, 2018 / — On December 5th, 2018, Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices hosted a meeting with two representatives from the International Child Development Center (ICDC), an NGO in Armenia.

Ms. Narine Vardanyan, General Director of ICDC, and Ms. Marine Yengoyan, Educational Director of ICDC, shared the progress that Armenia made in providing resources and facilities to care for children with autism. “We’re still a country that needs support on the autism instruction very much,” said Ms. Yengoyan.

While attending the 2014 ICare4Autism International Autism Conference in New York, NY, Ms. Vardanyan met Dr. Joshua Weinstein, founder, and CEO of Shema Kolainu-Hear Our Voices. Ms. Vardanyan and Ms. Yengoyan were invited to participate in a six-week training session at Shema Kolainu school in Brooklyn, which helped them gather insights and methods used in the United States to treat children with autism in educational settings. They returned to Armenia with newfound initiatives that they soon implemented in their educational system.

Based on the first visit to Shema Kolainu, the ICDC created an occupational and sensory room in its center, which enables the utilization of a more impactful, hands-on approach into the ICDC’s methodology. Through techniques such as one on one therapy, the ICDC helps children with autism to improve their social skills.
Ms. Vardanyan and Ms. Yengoyan shared insights about their visits to other American schools and programs, which serve individuals with autism. Ms. Vardanyan emphasized that using the Shema Kolainu as a model school helps to increase advocacy efforts on improving the training and care for children with disabilities. She added, “Your model of the school is now ours.”

Shema Kolainu pledged their assistance to the ICDC and to support their expanding efforts in Armenia. The ICDC had already accomplished a significant amount of progress in the ways and methods that are used to work with children with autism in Armenian school settings. Much of their successes are due to the inspiration and continued friendship with Shema Kolainu. Both parties expressed their interest and enthusiasm to organize interactive workshops or the joint conference that could benefit professionals and families of children with autism.

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices is a nonprofit, nonpublic school for children with autism and related developmental disabilities. The school was founded in 1998 by Dr. Joshua Weinstein, PhD., M.B.A, in response to the growing need in the New York metropolitan area’s education system for programs that effectively fill the learning and emotional requirements of children with autism. Today, Shema Kolainu is a model school for educational facilities across the nation. It is also utilized by the International Center for Autism Research & Education (ICare4Autism) as an example of the educational establishment that responds to the voices of the children and families that strive to achieve their full potential for independence, productivity, and inclusion in their communities.

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