David Preece. São Paolo State, Brazil | The concept behind the ESIPP project – providing locally-appropriate training for parents of children on the autism spectrum – has proved to be of interest to parents, professionals and academics around the world, as has been shown by our e-newsletter subscribers. So I was both pleased and excited to be invited to talk about the work undertaken on the project so far at an academic conference in Brazil in November 2016.
The VII Brazilian Congress of Special Education was held at the Federal University of São Carlos, São Paolo State, from 1-4 November. This is one of the major academic conferences about special education and inclusion in South America, and over 1,700 academics, professionals and family members were gathered in hot, sticky and often rainy São Carlos to hear a range of presentations, attend workshops, meet old friends and develop new relationships and networks.
I presented about our project in the university’s main lecture theatre to a very engaged audience, and there was a lot of interest and many questions after the talk. I met with professionals and parents who are interested in looking at – and adapting – our training materials for use in a Brazilian context. The point – which has been noted by so many people in our project – that the similarities between families are greater than the differences was borne out again in the conversations I had with Brazilian parents throughout the conference.
It was a privilege to speak at this important gathering, and I would particularly like to thank Prof Enicéia Gonçalves Mendes for inviting me to present; Dr Alice Resende for arranging my travel and accommodation (and translating my presentation) and Marcelo for translating on the stage – and taking care of me throughout my stay. And of course thanks to all of my ESIPP colleagues for collaborating to write the conference paper which will be published in Brazil in 2017.