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Meeting in milAn
 

Meeting in Milan

FIRST MEETING OF THE PROJECT IN MILAN

From the 14th to the 21st of November, six professionals from the Gloria Fuertes School together with teachers from Germany, Turkey and Italy participated in the first meeting of the Comenius Project: "The magic room, Snoezelen multisensorial space", held in Milan (Italy).

All the participants at the Italian school entrance.
All the participants at the Italian school entrance.

The programme of the week was very comprehensive. It was a combination of pedagogical and leisure activities with different cultural inputs that allowed us to exchange our experiences and to get to know various reality aspects of the hosting country.

The pedagogical activities, on one hand, were aimed to get to know the different educational systems of every country, with specific attention to the treatment of disable pupils with special education needs; on the other hand we worked to deepen our knowledge on multisensorial rooms and the different schools did a presentation of their work, particularly looking at the protocols use to evaluate pupils responses in these rooms.

The Gloria Fuertes School professionals make the presentation of their Multisensorial Room intervention protocol
The Gloria Fuertes School professionals make the presentation of their Multisensorial Room intervention protocol

The professionals of the Gloria Fuertes contributed with their experience accumulated during several years in this field, and elaborated a document based on the work that have been published by Alfonso Lazaro y Pedro Pablo Berruezo, since the year 2002. The translation of the document into English was carried out by Antonio Formento, physiotherapist, and Peña Martinez, headmistress of this Centre, with plenty of work from their part.

The headmistress and two teacher of the Milan School with the group of professionals from Gloria Fuertes School
The headmistress and two teacher of the Milan School with the group of professionals from Gloria Fuertes School

Gloria Fuertes protocol presentation was followed with great interest by all the participants. It received numerous complements and it was decided the protocol was going to be used by all the schools to carry out some experimental work. This fact makes our Centre the European pioneer on this subject, been a great pride for its professionals who feel encourage to continue deepening in this methodology.

Paying attention to the explanations, in the Milan Blind Institute
Paying attention to the explanations, in the Milan Blind Institute

The cultural activities played an important part in the week’s programme, we underlined the visit to the Milan Blind Institute, pioneer in Europe, where participants got to know the history of this institution as well as the materials used to work with the blind; complementing the visit, we participated in the workshop "Dialogue with darkness", an experience difficult to ever forget. Small groups were made for this activity, and then, during one hour and half, in complete darkness and guided by a blind person, we have to move and manage through different situations –crossing a street,  going on a bout, doing things around the house, taking an aperitif-. This experience allows us to understand the difficulties blind people have to go through and makes us feel the powerful effects on the emotions and on the social interactions.

A group of teachers from Italy, Spain and Turkey before getting into the intense experience of Dialogue with Darkness
A group of teachers from Italy, Spain and Turkey before getting into the intense experience of Dialogue with Darkness

 Also, some heritage monuments of Milan were visited; culminating on the Cenacolo Vinciano, the famous mural painted by Leonardo De Vinci and restored in various occasions; the novel and film "The De Vinci Code" have been inspired by this classic.

Every participating school agreed on the following: to implement the Gloria Fuertes School protocol on two of their pupils with different level of disability. This intervention, commencing in January, consists of 12 one to one sessions with each pupil, recording on video the first and the last.  Every session will be registered on the appropriate evaluation sheet. The collected data will be process and discuss at the next meeting in Andorra, April 2010.


From right to left, the Directors of the Centres, the Milan project Coordinators and the Andorra Coordinator

The results of this first meeting are very positive because first of all we have exchange knowledge and educational practices about multisensory room work; secondly because the protocol used in our Centre has been chosen as the model for future research; and thirdly, because the empathy that has grown among the participants has laid fertile grounds for future positive results.

CONCLUSIONS

In the 20 November 2009, the headmaster of Italy, Spain, Turkey and Germany sign AGREEMENTS about the activities that will be developed until the second meeting in Spain:

  1. A wiki space with the name "European magic room" is being created.
  2. Germany must send to Paola Meroni the presentation about the school and multisensorial experience
  3. Every school will prepare photos and a little report about this experience to put in the wiki site and will share the information to other schools
  4. The responsible of the schools will address themselves to the local representative rotary club to inform them about the project.
  5. Planning of the next meetings:
    Spain: from 12 April to 16 April 2010
    Germany: from 21 June to 26 June 2010
    Turkey: September October 2010
  6. Caterina Runfola will have contact with the inspector Goksoy to create a pilot project in turkey about "magic room".
  7. A multisensorial stimulation Spanish programme is being developed to compare the results

During one of the working sessions, elaborating the conclusions
During one of the working sessions, elaborating the conclusions

This objective involves these TASKS:

  • Italy and Germany: Two teacher will apply the Spanish model to 2 students
  • Spain will do the same and will coordinate those tasks.

Tools to use:

  • Musical water bed
  • Bubble columns

Students to study:

  • 1 with severe cerebral palsy in the musical water bed
  • 1 autistic in the bubble columns

Observation period:

Once a week, in sessions of 30 minutes maximum, from January to March (total: 12 weeks).
The registration of the observation will take place immediately after each session and 30' later.

Items to observe:

I group:
  1. Heart rate (pulseoximeter)
  2. Oxygen saturation (pulseoximeter)
II group (duration):

  1. Time of observation
  2. Smiles/laughter
  3. Vocalizations (pleasure and displeasure)
  4. Visual fixation: on the face, on the object*, visual pursuit (at least 3’’)
  5. Facilitation of movement
  6. Interaction request
  7. Tonic-motor response

III group (Behavioural responses):

  1. control of stereotyped movement (duration, frequency) only for the autistic
  2. Attention level
  3. Emotional well-being
  4. Relaxation degree
  5. Communication level

IV group (global valuation of the session):

  1. Negative
  2. Without effect
  3. Positive

V group:

Qualitative subjective evaluation.

All the teachers will fill the assessment sheets of the Spanish Model about the observation after each session. Every school will create 2 videos, about the 2 pupils that they have observed, to present them to Spain meeting and so all the participants will compare the results.
For every pupil there will be a registration at the first session and one at the last.
The video will not be longer than 10' each.

Turkey: They will receive all information’s about Magic Room and they will start to create it.

 
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