Professional support of parents of children with autism
(and other developmental disorder)

The Mars Foundation was established in 2017 so that families with an autistic family member do not to feel left alone in the universe.

The main goal of the Foundation is to provide the most recent and evidence based information and to build an interactive, helping and caring community.

Stephen Shore at the XII. Autism Europe Congress in Nice about the role of the families
As an autistic individual at age of 2,5 I was sent to an institition. But my parents did not let that happen. They advocated on my behalf. I am thankful for them and I am thankful for every parent, every family and everyone, who stand up for the rights of Persons with autism.

Luckily Mars Foundation has connection with several European Organizations who are staying on the same platform and finding it extremely important to support families of persons with autism.

Organisation from 4 countries (Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia) came together and draft an Erasmus+ Innovation and Good Practices (KA2) Strategic Partnership Project.

Organisations participating in these opportunities should benefit from new approaches to education and training, a more professional and capable professional environment within their organisation, and an increased capacity to work at an EU or international level.

The PROPAR Project’s main goal was to collect Good Practices on the field of family support focusing on families with an autistic member.

First Transnational Meeting in Budapest (HU)
Host: Mars Foundation

Professional part:
What we have learnt from each other:

- How to work smarter than harder, if we have
limited HR resources

- It’s good to know that there are “old” associations
on the field since 1979

- It’s good to see that hard work and creativity pays
of, and that the disadvantage could be transform to

- It encourage us, that though we work with
different backgrounds, we all want the same:
support families

Fun part

Visiting the “Kockacsoki” Ltd which is a non-profit chocolate manufacture, that employs autistic adults.

We have not only visited the place, but with the help of the autistic employees we prepared chocolate.
- It encourage us, that though we work with different backgrounds, we all want the same: support families

Second Transnational Meeting in Lodz (PL)
Host: Fundacja JiM

Professional Part

JiM Foundation explained what is fundraising, concluding that “money is just a tool” to create a better world for people on the spectrum. The Partners learned how to communicate with donors, after being given some examples of JiM’s campaigns. JiM Foundation shared their know-how on how to prepare a successful fundraising campaign. It was also brought to attention how important it is to build relations with donors and empower them.

Fun part

Visiting the Centre for Science and Technology in Łódź which had been adjusted to the needs of neurodivergent people and those who are sensitive to sensory overload with the help of JiM Foundation.

Third Transnational Meeting in Belgrade (SRB)
Host: Autizam Srbija

Professional part:

During the PROPAR meeting in Belgrade the partner organizations have collected what kind of support each country provides to the families with an autistic child.

We have only focused on the support provided to the families after an autistic child, and have not talked about the provided to autistic adults.

The supports highlighted here are in addition to the support every family receives after having a child.

Fun part

Visit to the ″Sounds of the Heart” coffee house in Belgrade, where we got a lot more than a cup of fine coffee. This place is unique not only because all the staff are disabled but also because anyone may enter and drink a cup of coffee or tea free of charge. Guests can leave their tips and donations in the little heart-shaped boxes on the tables

Fourth Transnational Meeting in Tirgu Mures (RO)
Host: KEY Association

Professional Part

During the meeting, we have not only learnt about how to support families in Romania, but we also shared our knowledge on Erasmus+ project impact measurement and its tools.

As we were already discussing impact, we have prepared a questionnaire on what would be the biggest impact on the life of families with an autistic member. We agreed on the questions in small groups and then we came out with a common questionnaire.

Fun part

Meeting with the members of the parent support group Szusszanó (Breathing). The title of the activity was Bridges without words: music and playing. We had a great time getting to know each other through different music activities. By that we have experienced that it is possible to change ideas without words.

Good Practices we have learnt during the transnational meetings

Online consultation
Parent Club (network)
Parent training
Special Schools
Residential Home
Sheltered workshops for persons with autism

Outcome of the Questionnaire
click on image to zoom

Final Closing Event of the Project
(online due to COVID pandemic)

As the whole project was inspired by Stephen Shore’s speech we were lucky to invite to make a presentation and to tell his story to around 200 participants from 10 different countries.