Who are you?
I am Ivana Sladić Kljajić, a Psychologist at the Center for Autism Zagreb.
For the last 14 years I have been working at The Center for Autism Zagreb, a special education school in Croatia under the Ministry of Education, specialised in assisting children with autism and intellectual disabilities. I work with autistic pupils on a one-toone basis, assess them, cooperate with special education teachers and therapists, participate in creating individualised educational plans, and assess the pupils’ progres over time. I also work with parents and create/lead workshops for employees, as well as our pupils’ neurotipically developing sibilings. As a member of the Mobile Team, I provide support for pupils with autism, their parents and teachers in mainstream schools.
Why are you interested in the ESIPP project?
The ESIPP project helps me to broaden my skills in the field of autism, especially by providing all the necessary help for parents and family members of children with autism. Besides developing my professional skills, ESIPP project enables me to meet professionals from different countries and different cultural backgrounds, to learn from them and share experiences with them.
What is the project’s most valuable information/tool for you?
This project’s most valuable tool is having a lots of opportunities, formal and informal, to share experiences with different groups of people connected with autism on different ways, both professionals and parents. Some of these connections could be very useful in my future work. And there is always the opportunity to learn from others and to hear new information.
If you have attended any of the different ESIPP training sessions or events, tell us about your experience.
I attended several ESIPP training sessions for parents and one conference in Zagreb. The training sessions were interesting, not only because of being able to hear some new information, but also thanks to the possibility of meeting professionals with extensive experience in a field of autism, and parents whose stories always give me some new perspectives. Some of the training sessions were held by my colleagues and me. That was also a new experience for me. The atmosphere at those sessions was both relaxed and professional at the same time, which enabled lots of opportunities to learn and share experiences.