In Poland, we are still struggling with providing early diagnosis for children, who are in risk of autism. I believe that one part of the problem is the lack of knowledge about autism symptoms and possible treatments. Therefore, my digital campaign would be dedicated to educating young parents about the early signs of autism. By building the awareness I hope to motivate parents to seek for professional diagnosis and treatment for their children. 

The main goal of my campaign would be to increase the number of children in Poland, who receive the diagnosis around second year of their life. The second goal would focus on emphasising the importance of early evidence-based treatment.

Contemporary researches show that by using appropriate methods it is possible to assess the risk of autism in children around 12 months old. Diagnosing autism at the early stage is crucial, because the sooner the child receives help the better the outcomes of therapy are. Toddlers and small children learn faster and make bigger progress in acquiring skills necessary for further development. This allows them to start learning from the natural environment earlier. It is also worth to mention that according to World Health Organization 1 in 160 children is suffering from autism spectrum disorder. American statistics show even higher rates of autism, indicating that 1 in 68 children is in risk of developmental disorders. Moreover, the prevalence of this disorder is increasing.

In the digital campaign I would like to create a video describing early signs of autism and strategies that should be taken in case of any concerns about child’s health. This video would be shared on Facebook, because this social media is the most popular among young adults in Poland. There are at least few parenting blogs, NGO’s and preschools, which I would like to ask to share my video and support my cause. Apart from creating a video I would like to promote a smartphone application, ASDetect, designed to help parents in conducting initial assessment of child’s skills.

Since not all people are using social media in Poland, I would like to support the digital campaign by on the ground work. I want to distribute posters and leaflets about the early signs of autism in different organizations connected to child development (preschools, outpatient clinics etc.).

The second part of my digital campaign would be setting-up a Facebook page. This page would have few functions. First, it would be a place for promoting my video and the ASDetect application. Second, I would share a feedback about campaign outcomes on this page. The feedback would be mostly based on short posts showing how many people in Poland downloaded and used ASDetect application. Third, I would provide the information about the number of posters and leaflets distributed in different organizations and share pictures of posters hanging in those places. Fourth, I would also create a “they are talking about us” section. In this section, I would mention all the other media and organization that got interested in participating in my campaign.

Furthermore, the Facebook page would serve as a place for sharing stories of children with whom I worked and the progress they made during the treatment. Each month of the campaign I would also post more insightful stories about autism symptoms, evidence-based treatments and organizations, which provide this type of treatment in Poland. Hopefully the Facebook page would also become a place for parents to share their stories and experiences. The intention of all mentioned stories and posts is to motivate parents to undertake targeted actions.

The campaign would last for six months. All actions would happen throughout the whole campaign, but each month would focus on different topics, according to following schedule:

First month - sharing the video and promotion of ASDetect app,

Second and third month – information about autism symptoms – deficits in social interactions, deficits in social communication and patterns of repetitive behaviours,

Fourth month - evidence-based treatments and inspiring stories of children in therapy,

Fifth month - different organizations providing evidence-based treatment in Poland,

Sixth month - summary and gathering final feedback about the campaign.

 

Region Europe

12Encouragement

Hi Joanna. Thanks for sharing your update on your mission. Are they doing studies now on autism prevention? Does homeopathy cure some forms of autism?

Hi Jlanghus, 

There are some studies that try to find sources of autism, but none of them was successful yet. Unfortunately, if we do not know the causes of autism, we do not know how to prevent it. There are some factors that increase risk of autism, late pregnancy is one of them. Currently, there are no evidence-based medicaments that would cure from autism. It is widely said that you cannot fully cure autism, you can only treat the symptomes of it. But such treatment make life easier for people with autism. I have never heard about cureing autism by using homeopathy. 

Thank you for your interest in my campaign! 

Warm Regards,  Joanna 

Yes. I really think they need to do more studies, especially about vaccinations. I have a homeopathic friend and I think she mentioned it once, so I was curious. I know I would be interested if I had a child that was autistic. You're welcome:) Good luck with your cause.

I will be following your campaign. I am eager to understand Autism better,because lack of knowledge can only do more harm than good. I feel for all the undiagnosed children, some who have grown to adults now,without an understanding of how and why they are different. I hope your campaign will also highlight triggers and situations to be avoided. Thanks for sharing!

 

Dear Like The Sun,

thank you for highlighting very important issue! I will try to include the triggers of problem behaviours and strategies of coping in such situations into my campaign. 

Best Regards,  Joanna

Dear Smiejka,

I really like your efforts in supporting Autistic Children. I understand very little about autism although I have a friend who is bringing awareness to autism through music and art where she exhibits the art by autistic children. And invites perfomers in her events. Yes We are abled differently. Thank you for highlighting these.

In this campaign, I love your reporting approach, I have a thing or two to learn form it! Keep going.

Much love

 

Immah

Dear Immah, 

thank you for nice words and support! I am glad that I could already share some knowledge through this post :)

Take care,  Joanna 

Joanna, I did not know autism can be prevented... do you mean that early diagnose can make better life conditions and therapy for the kids? You have a strong digital action campaign and I believe that you can really make a difference in your community around this issue.  Keep the good work!!!

Dear Mercedes, 

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent autism, it is a disorder that stays for the whole life. But early diagnosis and treatment definitely can change the life of people with autism for better. Such treatment gives better outcomes, as it allows to fill gaps in children's skills. When children aquire skills they miss, it is easier for them to learn in the same way as healthy children are. 

Thank you for your encouragement! :) 

Take care,  Joanna 

Dear Joanna,

Congratulations for presenting a successful workshop and writing your digital action plan. 

Apologies for the silence.

You must be relieved! All your hard work has paid dividends.

It's a very detailed and thorough digital action plan.

Best wishes for your recovery, future workshops with the local community at your university.

Best wishes and success always

Sabeena

Fair Trade Nomad and Optimist for Change

 

 

This is a great campaign and a topic that many times is not discussed in many forums. Please let us know, let your readers know how they can get involved in distributing information or stories coming out of this campaign. Should we be sharing stories with any hashtags on our social media? Looking forward to the updates of all the work you are doing