Javier Arnáiz - Autismo Burgos (España)

Javier Arnaiz is a professor of special education and a pedagogue. During his professional career, he has been involved in Burgos Autism through different positions, all of them related to special education of children with ASD (professor of a classroom, director of a concerted school specific for children with ASD El Alba and advisor). In the education field, he has participated in several European projects, as well as national and international congresses as member of his scientific committees or organizations. His duty as developer of the Centers of Training and Innovation of Teachers, Universities and Centers of Socio-Sanitary Training extends to numerous Autonomous Communities. Javier has also participated in numerous groups of work and commissions concentrated in the education for children with ASD (groups of work of the Spanish Autism Federation, Commission of Education of the CERMI cyl, adviser of the Autism Federation of Cyl…). Actually, he is the member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Association of Autism Professionals (AETAPI) and the representative of the Commission of Education of the CERMI of Castilla and Leon.

READ THE INTERVIEW!

Veronica Pensosi has interviewed Javier Arnaiz for ITASD:

Q: Hello, Javier, you are special education teacher and educator completely dedicated to autism. Can you tell us how your relationship with autism started?

My link with autism started twenty years ago accidentally, but very intensively. By that time men in Spain had to made military service or an equivalent social work. This later one made me visit Autismo Burgos and something caught me until now. At the faculty of education we haven’t talk about autism, only two paragraphs mentioned it within a book of psycho-biopathology, so when I started my collaboration with Autismo Burgos school I had big motivation but no knowledge at all about ASD.

Q: You work for Autismo Burgos, where technologies have been considered from their very beginning. What advantages do technologies offer to people with autism? 

Nowadays, technologies are part of daily routine of people with autism, we cannot think about their learning and leisure without the technology. I think this is the main success achieved by teachers and technology developers. The application of technology to ASD is a reality. Some of the advantages and strengths of IT for ASD are obvious: availability, visual processing, stimulation control, time management. Also, technologies help for learning and self-determination (including communication, choosing alternatives, …), especially when technologies are flexible and adaptable enough. And technologies are also facilitating the advance of research on every other discipline, allowing a deeper and better understanding of autism.

Q: Your role as a trainer is well known in Spain and other countries. Can you tell us a bit more about this important work you are developing?

Autism, due to its universality and specificity, makes easier the interchange of knowledge and expertise among professionals, without language or culture being a barrier for doing so. AUTISM CULTURE is universal and, therefore, every interchange experience is very enriching for everyone.

Q: You have already participated in previous ITASD editions. What is your opinion about the Conference? And your expectations for this new edition?

If something identifies ITASD is it innovative nature and, at the same time, its practical implications. It is evident that a forum of this nature must highlight the most innovative aspects, but ITASD also knows how to combine this aspect with another important one: the impact of IT on the quality of life of the individual. The existence of a specific forum focused in people with ASD and IT has implications about the importance of IT for people with autism, and about autism specificity itself. IT = visual processing = ASD.

I believe all professionals, people with ASD and their families will go back to home with multiples ideas, supports, projects to develop and tools to benefit from.