“The mediation experience should be tailored to the age and social contexts in which the autistic person lives”
Who are you?
I am María Merino. I have a PhD in Education Sciences, Masters Psychology & Psychopedagogy. I am from Spain.
Tell us about your experience and needs relating to the need of a mediator
I coordinate a programme to support people on the autism spectrum without intellectual disabilities, for all ages. The mediation experience should be tailored to the age and social contexts in which the autistic person lives.
In childhood and adolescence, mediation is a necessity in the community contexts of leisure, school and family. In some situations, mediation also includes support in social institutions, childcare or entities for specific groups, because other comorbidities or concurrences linked to autism may occur.
At each stage, mediation is based on the work with peers, including the awareness raising on diagnosis and training. Also, on the accompaniment of the teachers to understand autism, the need to have special sensitivity for the sensory alterations. Moreover, on the regulation of conflicts in the classroom but also in special situations such as changes of class, breaks, excursions etc. but also for the capacity of anticipation and coherence that these children and adolescents require.
In leisure contexts, they require alternatives to be found and progressive mediation to ensure that inclusion in a new group, an extracurricular activity, is progressive, controlled, and successful.
With regard to youth and adulthood, some of the approaches to mediation involve having young professionals who support real life daily situations in natural contexts, progressively withdrawing their presence and support. On the other hand, the mediation towards employment has a triple aspect: vocational orientation, the link with the context to provide them with experiences that lead them to a real contact with the practice and move them away from theoretical ideas, and the progressive adaptation to the working environments.
Why are you interested in the YMI project?
It is a necessary project as an exchange of experiences between cultures, enrichment of tools, and standardization of certain fundamental supports starting from the people with autism and those who are in contact with them.
Why do you think that it is necessary to create the role of a young mediator for autism?
The main support of autistic people is in real situations, in natural contexts and in a flexible way, in that sense, mediation is the bridge for many people on the autism spectrum who have their difficulties in initiative, and is forbidden for them.
What would be the project’s most valuable information/tool/result for you?
The online Guide with guidelines for different mediation contexts