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Belarusian university partners with Sarah Dooley Center for Autism

Two special education professors from Mogilev State University in Belarus, Professors Elina Katliarova (PhD in Psychology, Chair of Psychology Department) and Irina Komarova (PhD in Pedagogy, Dean of Faculty of Child Pedagogy and Psychology) toured St. Joseph’s Villa and its Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) on December 4.

During their visit, the Belarusian professors observed instructional techniques used at SDCA and learned how facilities such as SDCA may address the needs of children with autism in Belarus. Belarus, like the United States, has experienced rapid growth in the number of students diagnosed with autism.

Villa staff and Belarusian visitors in front of the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism

Villa staff with Belarusian visitors in front of the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism

SDCA Director Adam Dreyfus met Katliarova and Komarova when he travelled to Mogilev State University in October 2013 as an invited guest lecturer.  Dreyfus presented on instructional techniques for helping children with autism gain early language skills.  Mogilev State University is the premier education university in Belarus and is well known for its commitment to special education.

Dreyfus was joined in Belarus by Professor Theodore Hoch from George Mason University. They conducted a 3-day workshop on teaching students with disabilities with an emphasis on students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

“I was very impressed with the commitment of the Belarusian educators as well as the state of their facilities. I learned a great deal during my trip and enjoyed sharing our knowledge with them,” said Dreyfus.

The Sarah Dooley Center for Autism and St. Joseph’s Villa look forward to a continued international partnership with Mogilev State University in the future.