We are at “FirAnoia”, the main fair of Igualada

fira igualada

This weekend we face the third consecutive weekend doing activities and having presence on the streets to continue helping Àlex. After being in the Craft market “Peces Puces” in Igualada and “Ciutat Gegantera 2014” in Cervera, this Saturday and Sunday, 14th and 15th of June, we will participate in the Entities’ Fair, which belongs to “FirAnoia”, the main multi sectorial fair that takes place in Igualada. It consists of a gathering of companies, entities, artisans, etc. and also a party full of activities addressed to the general public.

The “FirAnoia”, which is organized by “Fira d’Igualada”, will take place the days 13th, 14th and 15th of June in the central streets of the city.

We will be in the entities’ space, in Òdena’s Street, together with other organizations and nonprofit associations. You can find us on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 21 hours and find our solidarity customized items and the Christmas lottery.

You can find more information in www.firaigualada.org

See you in Igualada!

Solidarity in the Rain

Mercat Peces Puces Igualada (1)

On Saturday May 31 we were in the Peces Puces craft market held in Igualada to continue raising support and funds to help Àlex. Although the weather was not good, we are very pleased to have been in this market. Rain and wind spoiled a day and a market very well organized by our friends of la Bastida.

However, we can make a good evaluation of our participation in this event. Despite having only the morning, we were able to present our initiative to attendees, getting their support and esteem. Also, many people were interested in our merchandising and numbers of Christmas Lottery, a part of the donations that will allow us to continue helping Àlex. This is what comforts and encourages us to keep fighting.

Thank you very much to all who have made this possible!

We will spend this weekend in Cervera – City of Giants in 2014.

ciutat gegantera

Days 6, 7 and 8 of June, Cervera will be Catalonia’s Giants City 2014. Thanks to Cervera’s Council we will be there with our stand with our solidarity personalized items, presenting the initiative and trying to get more help for Àlex!

You can find us on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 21 p.m. in San Miguel Square and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 14 p.m. in Sindicat Square. We are very pride of going beyond our city to explain our initiative!

For more information you can visit: www.ciutatgegantera2014.cat

See you in Cervera!

We will be at the Peces Puces, the Igualada’s handmade market

Peces Puces Igualada

This Saturday May 31 we will be at the third edition of the Petites Puces handmade market, a meeting hold in Igualada (Barcelona) where you can find a great selection of artisans, artists and activities for all family. Dozens of artisans will show attendees their best creations and works. Plus, you will fin live music, workshops and activities for children.

This year, the Associació Nash Alex Sasha, will have our own space together with others associations. We will show our initiative, we will offer our solidarity custom items and we will try to find more complicities between all attendees. Join us in this market and we will tell you the latest news from our initiative and Àlex’s progresses.

The Petites Puces show will be held all day Saturday, from 11 to 22h, next to the “Museu de la Pell d’Igualada”, next Barcelona. The Petites Puces event is organized by la Bastida, who collaborated on our first party for Àlex.

See you on Saturday!

Neus Castells

Neus Castells / Nash Alex Sasha

I am writing to you today to talk about Àlex. I worked with him in Carrilet Attention Service for two years since September 2010. Àlex is curious, restless and observant, a very sensitive and affectionate child. He has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Àlex doesn’t perceive the world the same way as the majority of people do; his life is often disturbing and disconcerting. This results in him frequently wondering about the reason for many things; for example, the whys of people’s responses, their motives, and he usually asks repeatedly: “and why?”. He has difficulty anticipating others actions as his ability to put himself in someone else’s place is limited. This means that his world is unpredictable and consequently he gets deeply distressed. Let’s try to put ourselves in his place. Imagine we could not translate the meaning of a traffic light; so therefore, whenever we wanted to cross a busy avenue we would feel frightened as we would not know the car’s movement, if they would stop or go on. In short, we would not be sure if we were safe or in danger. Àlex’s life is a bit like this.

Luckily, Àlex has received help from professionals which has been assumed by his parents with hard work, perseverance and dedication. As they say “it is his future” and yes, this is the main fear for many families. “What will happen to Àlex when we are no longer here?” they wonder. The relational psychotherapeutic work is based on taking care of his emotional well-being and of his psychological and human development, making possible everyday functions as optimal and independent as possible. We must help him take responsibility for his things, help him learn, help him manage his emotions and help him understand the world.

I have been lucky to meet Àlex. We have done a bit of his journey together, during which we have got angry, we have had good times, we have cried and we have seen inside each other. We have been able to talk about his fears, about his discomfort, about the things he does not understand. Now, Àlex is more capable to regulate himself, to express his emotions, to organize his time, and he can also establish bonds.

Now, he is on another stage and it is essential to continue working. From here, I want to join his family in asking for financial support so that Àlex can continue his path as happily as possible.

Neus Castells i Gessé
Psychologist
Collegiate number 15577
Barcelona, 16 March 2013

Thank you, Capellades

Mercat Figueter Capellades

On Sunday 16th March we were at the “Mercat Figueter de Capellades” to present our initiative and to get funds to continue helping Àlex. The experience was a great success and was ​​possible thanks to Gràcia Bartroli, who gave us loot in front of her store “El racó de la Gràcia“.

During this market, which was held in a beautiful day, we showed the initiative to everyone who visited our stand, showing the solidarity and personalized items from the Associació Nash Alex Sasha, which allowed us to collect more funds. It was a pleasure for us to meet all the people at Capellades and spread our initiative.

The “Mercat Figueter de Capellades” is the main annual fair of this village next to Igualada. This fair has began centuries ago, when people used to sell different Easter products, such as salted fish, cod and nuts. Among them, the figs were the most popular product (and that is why its name). Now this fair shows the commerces, industries and cultural tradition of this village to the general public.

Therefore, Capellades thank you!

Aina Pijoan

Aina Nash Alex Sasha

I met Àlex Gómez Máximo in October 2008 when I was working at “Attention Service Carrilet (ASC)” carrying out treatments as a psychologist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Àlex and his family were looking for a entity that could explain to them what was wrong with their son and help them understand and take charge of the difficulties their child had. I did the diagnostic process which confirmed that Àlex was a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and once the therapeutic objectives were explained to his parents, we started the weekly treatments.

The process carried out with Àlex was complex; the work was done together with the family and the ordinary school, always moving forward jointly and coordinated. We were all very involved so that Àlex could have a better quality of life and would develop the necessary skills in order to communicate, interact and express himself in a better way, being connected to his environment.

The evolution during the treatment was very good. Individually, Àlex started learning how to regulate himself, to understand and communicate, to express his love and needs, to feel loved and to love in a more peaceful and safer way. He started being more self-confident and feeling capable to grow up, to do every day more things that made him feel happy. With his family we started to work their personal process as Àlex’s parents, to understand the difficulties and to learn how to join and contain their child in suffering. Finally, we coordinated and monitored with the ordinary school to ensure that Àlex’s school environment was the best. This task was done in a more specific way by another psychologist of this service who also cooperated in the monthly follow-up with the family.

It should be pointed out that Àlex started with a medication treatment in order to help him regulate his disruptive behaviour which interfered in the psychotherapic treatment, in the relationship with his parents and in the school. From the beginning of the pharmacological treatment these behaviours became more contained making the process development easier and more positive. This task was done by a psychiatrist from this service carrying out a psychiatric and pharmacological monitoring of Àlex and counselling with his parents on a regular basis.

My part in the treatment came to an end in July 2010, when due to employment issues I stopped working at “Attention Service Carrilet (ASC)”. The farewell was quite, serene but with pity and longing. From then on, Àlex was attended by another psychologist of this service as the necessity to continue working with him was reinforced, because of the difficulties he still had, but also because of the positive development he was doing and the great amount of resources he was getting capable to display. There was still a lot of work to do, taking advantage that Àlex was profiting from a psychotherapy space. And so it was done.

When I think about Àlex’s story, his origins, his encounter with those that would be his parents, his internal journey, the impacts he suffered in the first months of his life… I feel that he is a fighter, that he is very brave. I believe he will accomplish anything because he deserves it and his parents too. I remember how they came every week to work with me; they came committed, confident and grateful. They have had this attitude until now and they must continue like this. Excitement, hope, confidence and belief are essential props for Àlex’s good development.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the sooner they are treated the better is the prognosis. And the end of the treatment does not have a specific objective. Parents’ expectations regarding the improvement in their son’s quality of life has neither limits nor end. Àlex’s parents have always struggled to know, learn and give their son everything that was good for his development. They keep doing so.

Àlex has changed a lot since I met him and he needs to change even more, he needs support. Space, treatment and therapy must be offered to him to continue encouraging his resources and abilities. It would be unfair if it is not so. For this reason, the family told me about the difficulties they were having to carry on with the treatments as before. Together with all the professionals who have taken part in the care and treatment of this child, I decided to write this document. I wish it would serve as a witness, a call of protest, to find and gather the necessary support to help them go on, and we could feel happy that it was worthy, because fighting is always worthy.

As a psychologist and psychotherapist I ensure that it is very important for Àlex and his family to have the necessary resources in order to continue working and treating the difficulties that Àlex suffers as a consequence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Aina Pijoan i Mas
Psychologist and psychotherapist
Collegiate number 14056
Barcelona, January 18th 2013

Àfrica López

Àfrica López

My name is Africa and I am the special education teacher who worked with Àlex during the courses 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010 in the ordinary school where he used to go.

During these courses I must say that Àlex’s career underwent important changes.

Àlex was a special student who required specific support and attention. He was a boy with distinctive features, which I’d like to emphasize some: difficulty in focusing his look on another, stereotyped movements, an excessive and uncontrollable motor activity, difficulty in communication, but overall, his disconnection of the world stood out.

Although these characteristics, Àlex’s process to a diagnostic was long and complicated. At home as well as in the school, Àlex’s differential treats and his difficulties to connect himself from the reality were perceived. His family took many steps with several centres and professionals but they didn’t get a specific diagnostic that guided them to help their son. Finally, they reached it by being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and then, slowly, all the professionals that were working with Àlex were able to help him in a better way. I would like to point out the change that took place in Àlex once he started taking his medication: after that, he was more capable to make connections and his motor activity level decreased, having more auto-control. Thus, the student was more predisposed to learn.

From the school, my side, teachers who worked with Àlex focused our educational tasks on working specially the connection between the student and his environment (with himself, with the objects and with the other people). Thereby, teachers did an intense work of language, attention, educative routines and functional basic curriculum contents.

In a methodological and organizational level, it should be noticed that it was very important to establish a benchmark for Àlex in order to give him security. The references during those years were the head teacher and the special education teacher.

Likewise, an exclusive time and space were offered daily to the student. It was a time when Àlex could express and manifest his emotions and concerns completely free.

The environment was very structured and it was operated on a visual schedule in order to help Àlex arrange daily routines such as language time, playground time, music session… and give him security and confidence.

During these school years, helped by this educational work and also with support from other areas, Àlex was developing positively. Slowly, he became more capable to do little connections with his environment, his language was not so echolalic and he began to use it like a tool to make demands and express emotions. He was also able to understand basic curricular contents worked in an experiential and functional way.

In general terms, this was the itinerary that I shared with Àlex. A road full of uncertainties, changes, efforts and perseverance but, above all, a road full of excitement and learning.

Àfrica López i Julià
Special Education Teacher
January 18th, 2013

A look at the world of autism

PatriciaAlex

Close your eyes and imagine a huge box full of crayons of different colours… from white to black, with all the different tones and textures… This is the world of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with all its variety and differences.

Autism is a development disorder that appears from childhood. Its characteristics are: impaired social interaction, difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication and restricted and repetitive interests and activities. About 3 to 5 children out of 10,000 are autistic. Boys are affected 3 to 4 times more than girls but often autism is more severe in girls than in boys. Autism is more than a problem affecting one individual; it is a disability disorder that affects the whole family. The treatment needed for children with autism is very demanding for the family, both, emotionally and economically. Parents of children with autism are exposed to multiple challenges that have a hard impact in their most direct environment.

There is no cure for autism, but therapies and conductual interventions are designed to improve the main symptoms of autism and may allow a substantial improvement. All professionals agree on the fact that the sooner intervention takes place the better. The family counselling for parents and siblings of children with autism (as well as in school) is as important as the treatment given to the children affected by this disorder.

The fact that a child has autism, does not mean that he or she is autistic. In the same way that a person who suffers a bipolar disorder does not mean that she or he is bipolar. What I mean to say is that they are children like the rest of children. They want to smile, share and to be understood. Any child can learn. What we need to do is to find the right way to teach them. That is our job and it is every professional’s goal. We have to fight for these children to have a good quality of life with their families and all people around them, for them to be happy.

 

Patricia Duran
Escala Iris Director – Centre for Child development
www.escalairis.com
October 5th, 2013

We will be at the Igualada’s Chritmas fair

Fira de NadalWe have prepared another great activity for this December in order to keep helping Àlex and raise more funds to mitigate their Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and get a better life quality. In the following weekends, we will be at Fira de Nadal d’Igualada, a traditional Christmas fair that it will be celebrated at Igualada’s city center.

We will be selling several merchandising products to help promote our cause and keep helping Àlex. In this fair you can purchase customized shirts, polyester bags, bracelets, reusable cups, plates and lottery numbers. All the benefits obtained will improve on Àlex.

The Fira de Nadal d’Igualada is celebrated at down-town at the following streets and squares: Plaça Pius XII, carrer de Santa Maria, Plaça del Bruc and Plaça de l’Ajuntament. The event is celebrated the following weekends of December: 7th/8th, the 14th/15th and the 21th/22th, from 10AM until 8:30PM.

We have collaborated with several friends, who has helped us in this event: the Floristeria NUS (Igualada), who had created a traditional Christmas space, Decotext Llar (Igualada), who dressed the table with a black tablecloth; Tallers Clapera who had created Christmas decorations, but especially the Comissió de Festes Barri de la Font-Vella d’Igualada and Fira d’Igualada, the organizers of this Christmas fair, and who had accepted our participation. We would like to thank everyone for your support!