No Boundaries for Disabled Teenagers

Project location: ITALY
Project start date: September 2001 - Project end date: June 2002
Project number: 2001-11
Beneficiary: C.O.E.S.

The Centro di occupazione ed educazione per subnormali, C.O.E.S welcomes 65 disabled teens who attend the center only in the morning time.

The Nando Peretti Foundation is financing the implementation of this service also in the afternoon for the 2002 academic year (9 months).
The project is addressed to 30 teenagers with psycological problems such as slightly slow and borderline cognitive delays.
The goal is to develop personalized programs to increase the social, psychological, interpersonal learning processes.


Project Results Year 2001-2002

The first year project of supporting the COES Centre of Rome has ended.

During the first year 21 teenagers of the Centre have been divided by age in two groups (from 10 to 13 and from 14 to 17). All have been involved in various activities, mainly teamwork. These consist in occupational activities, computers, body expression, music therapy and art therapy. The two groups have then been divided in groups by age and disorder.

The first phase of the project aimed at encouraging the creation of groups as coherent as possible: the teenagers met, they "experimented" each other and had the possibility of establishing interpersonal relations, essential requirement for the work that has been carried out. Activities dealing with forms of expressiveness like music therapy, art therapy and body expression gave teenagers the possibility of creating a better contact with themselves and consequently better handle their emotions. Some cases of aggressiveness have been particularly difficult. The occupational and computer lab activities have developed their cognitive skills and capacity of social integration. Other teenagers, those who have major difficulties in space and time orientation have been involved in work programs through the use of different techniques such as fabric decoration, stencil, and other manual works. In the laboratories teenagers became familiar with computers and improved their knowledge on how to use them and how to surf the internet in an organised and programmed way.

In the last two months of the first year two weekends have been organised, during which two groups of teenagers, that had reached a satisfactory level of autonomy, spent two days with their caretakers in a little village near Rome, with great satisfaction of the teenagers and their families. They could put to practice their acquired knowledge, like buying foodstuffs, and got involved in creative experiences, like going to a restaurant, disco, excursions, etc.

The rehabilitation activities with the teenagers have been supported and assisted by a parallel work with their families. Monthly meetings have been organised where parents could talk to neuropsychiatrists and psychologists. Parents have also been organised in two groups: with parents of the younger children the discussion was on the preadolescence phase, on the emotions and feelings that disabled children have, on the fears of isolation. The group of parents of elder children discussed on sexuality and on the concerns parents have regarding their children's destiny, once they pass away. In both groups parents organised themselves in order to continue meeting each other and discussing, so establishing a real friendship, that allows to share loneliness and isolation.

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