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It is widely known, also based on the literature, just as well as the experiences of practical work with adult individuals with ASD, how disadvantaged this population is when it comes to housing opportunities, employment, social life and relationships - even in countries with more developed „autism culture”. What makes this civil association unique, is primarily its buttom-up evolvement, informal structure, activities and achievements. It was funded by parents in 2002, who run the association ever since, with the main aim of creating a community for their adult children with ASD. The AURA Association does not have any paid employees and is funded exclusively by project funding for civil society organizations year by year, project by project. Besides the leisure activities that were initially offered by the Association, by now, the steadily growing number of members can enjoy a wide variety of programmes, which all have the ultimate goal of supporting an independent life and facilitating social inclusion. Community development endeavours and the developing numbers of free-time activities has by now partly taken over by the members themselves: volunteers with ASD organize, for example, the hiking club, the board game club and the IT preparation classes. A symbolic „dance move” towards social integration is the opportunity to join a mainstream dance club and attend its events. The art therapy programmes like the drama theatre, the choir and the photography club are also attended by many.  At the moment, 95% of the cca. 100 members are employed. Finding these jobs was assisted by the employment programme of the Association, and as a result of continuous mentoring, employments proved to be long-term. Parts of the preparation for an independent life are, for instance, having the practical skills such cooking and sewing during the courses, learning about financial issues and budgeting, courses on relationships and sexuality, as well as classes on self-advocacy and legal matters. As the Hungarian state does not provide any proper services for adults with ASD until now, there is a pressing need for the services of the Association. Meeting these needs, however, puts the limited capacities of the Association to the test, not to mention the uncertainty of project funding. A huge dilemma at the moment is, whether we should aim for becoming a professional organization with employees and well-organized services, or keep on working accepting our current opportunities and capacities. 

Budapest Bank




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