The Five Project for International Autism and Disability Support, Inc.
Last week, FIVE’s monthly support group met as usual in Nanjing, and members shared some movin
g stories of the impact this group has had on themselves and each other. Individuals with mental health issues, those with developmental disabilities, and their family members get a chance to share their talents, such as the recent dancing lessons provided by a family caregiver in the group. 2019 has been another year of ongoing support and technical assistance, with training provided in several cities.
As always, we thank FIVE’s volunteers and supporters alike, all of whom have made this work possible. Highlights of 2019 include:
- Responding to ongoing requests for training, including conducting training in the northeast (in Changchun and Daqing), as well as in Jiangsu and Hebei provinces
- Reaching thousands of parents and teachers via technology (including WeChat training lectures)
- Support group continues to be a welcome and valued monthly self-help activity for families in Nanjing
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FIVE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.
Return to Northeast China
This spring, a FIVE training team --
, Patricia Wright, Jessie Tian Jiang and
-- provided training in
, two cities in Northeast China, a region where we have increasingly built connections and partnerships. Working with teachers over 10 days at two very different programs, we met wonderful, dedicated staff. Teachers were eager to learn and made evident progress in just a few short days. Specifically, the trainings focused on using evidence-based instructional strategies in group settings, due to the teacher-student ratio that means most of each child’s day is spent in a classroom with approximately 10 children. Modeling small group instruction to teachers at both programs was a very effective way for them to understand new methods of instruction.
Volunteers continue to provide support
FIVE relies on volunteers to contribute their expertise and time to support training efforts in China. This year, in addition to the trainings in the Northeast (see above), FIVE sent a volunteer, Jessie Tian Jiang, to provide training at two additional autism intervention organizations. In January, she went to
Stars’ Wings Autism Center in Huanghua
, Cangzhou (Hebei province) and worked with teachers on instructional design, setting objectives, and reinforcement. The teachers reported that they learned a lot and gained new motivation to become more organized in their teaching. Stars’ Wings has continued to
receive support at a distance
from FIVE’s ED, Helen McCabe, as described in our technology article. In June,
Jessie also provided training in Suqian
, a small city in Jiangsu with very few resources for autism intervention.
Due to work schedules, FIVE’s team of volunteers cannot always be in China. However, we have continued to make use of technology to provide information and instruction to parents and teachers. In Augus
, Five’s ED, was
invited by ALSOLife to give a talk via Wechat
the Chinese messaging and social media app. ALSOLife is a Chinese organization focused on awareness, advocacy and intervention for children with autism. ALSOLife broadcast this talk to dozens of WeChat groups simultaneously, many of whom have 500 members each. Thus, the talk was available to thousands of parents and teachers of children with autism. Helen was one of a series of monthly speakers providing information and awareness, and her topic was “Suggestions for Promoting Independent Skills at Home.” The following month, Helen gave a more targeted
training to teachers at Stars’ Wings Autism Center in Huanghua, Cangzhou
. In collaboration with the director of Stars’ Wings, she designed a training on the importance of taking data while implementing intervention based on applied behavior analysis. The teachers were very motivated to learn more and, at the end, had numerous questions about implementation, showing their enthusiasm to immediately practice what they had learned. This training has been followed up by ongoing consultation to teachers via WeChat.
Supporting and learning together
FIVE’s support group in Nanjing continues, about to enter its 13th year of monthly meetings for approximately 25 families each month. Many of the families have been coming since we began in February 2008 and, in many instances, have become true supports and second families to each other. Our group has lost several members over the years (aging parents) and it is extremely comforting to see how other members pull together to support each other. In addition, FIVE’s group has welcomed new members when space allows, and everyone is welcoming and nurturing of those new families. Recently, one of the newer members was eager to share her talent of dancing, and it has become a welcome regular activity to have an informal dance lesson and activity during the monthly meetings. Sharing one’s talents, and being recognized for those talents, has strengthened the confidence of many of our members. Continued gratitude to support group leader and facilitator, parent Wu Suxing (whose daughter, Zhang Ge, is FIVE’s inspiration and will turn 36 in April!)
Special thanks to FIVE's Board members
Helen McCabe, PhD, Executive Director
Karen McCabe, President, Secretary
Susan Klein, PhD, Treasurer
Eric Barnes, PhD
Thank you to those who donated in the past year
FIVE gratefully acknowledges donations received since our last newsletter
Michelle and Raj Badhwar
Wendy Gaylord and Curt Petzoldt
Alan and Amy Harchik
David and Wendy Harvey
Suk Kam Lam
James Henry Holland
Jessie Tian Jiang
The Kaye Family Trust
Susan Klein and Bob Agranoff
Janet Nicholas and Susan Jacoby
Lil and Art Sherman
Susan Yuan and Eric Adler