Ilia State University
Autism Research and Support Foundation has close relationships with Tbilisi Ilia State University. As early as in 2010 year, when there were no organizations providing children autism services, memorandum was concluded between the Autism Association of Georgia (founder – Sophio Kereselidze) and Ilia State University.
Within the framework of above mentioned Memorandum, the first Autism center working on the basis of Behavior Therapy in Georgia was established under the auspices of Ilia State University. It has become possible to carry out daily ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) trainings for children. At the initial stage center was functioning in 2 former auditoriums, allocated by the University. Professor Amanda Nicolson Adams, head of Autism center at the Central California, Fresno State University and professor of the above-mentioned Autism Center, Marianne Jackson provided the newly established center with the huge support in terms of development and planning the curriculum. Soon after, center has become the practical training base for the University and since its establishment up to date over 300 students, bachelors and masters of psychological field have participated in theoretical and practical courses devoted to the Applied Behavior Analysis method. 40 of them are currently employed at the same center. Many of them successfully work in various service provider organizations.
Initially only 10 children were undergoing therapy; therapy was financed via the assistance provided by the enthusiast specialists and small payments made by the parents. Moreover, parents were carrying out some basic of activities necessary for the functioning of the center.
As mentioned above, the initiative on the establishment of Child Development Institute at the Ilia State University belonged to the parents, such initiative was preceded with the charity concerts organized by the parents. This idea was supported and endorsed by the University. Part of the funds collected from the organized concerts was invested in the infrastructural development of the clinic and its equipping. Above discussed actions played major role in the improving of public awareness on the autism.
Our collaboration is close and fruitful and there are many important joint projects planned for the future, directed towards the researches in the field of autism, training of qualified staff as well as, activities primarily focused on the provision of quality services to the persons suffering from autism and development of skills required for their independent existence.