Autism spectrum disorder (autism) affects about 1 in every 100, and impacts all aspects of the individual's experience, including how they learn. Children and young people with autism share common education needs with all other children, and are entitled to a high quality education. However, they have specific, special needs resulting from the characteristic difficulties in autism regarding communication, social understanding, inflexibility and sensory processing. Education has been identified as the key area of intervention for those with autism, and meaningful access to effective education is crucial. Teachers need a range of skills and strategies to meet the needs of these learners, and providing effective education has been identified as challenging throughout Europe, and in Central & Eastern Europe and the Balkans in particular. Based on these needs, the partnership of the ASD-EAST project focuses on developing appropriate training to support effective
teaching, to ensure the inclusion of learners with autism in Croatia, North Macedonia and Poland.
There is a lack of research data on the training needs of teachers in the countries of Eastern Europe, therefore conducting a mapping study was essential before fulfilling further objectives of the project.