The scientific team, led by prof. MUDr. Daniela Ostatníková has been researching autism since 2007 ..
Within interdisciplinary and interprofessional grant projects (grant of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic, grant of Applied Research of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic, VEGA and APVV) we had the opportunity to cooperate with renowned autism research centers at universities in Europe and the USA.
WE WERE INSPIRED IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IDEA OF ESTABLISHING THE RESEARCH CENTER BY:
- The impetus for the establishment of our Autism Research Center was also the AUTISM RESEARCH CENTER at the University of Cambridge https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/. Doctoral students of prof. Ostatníková absolved the educational research traineeship there. In a close cooperation with Professor Sir Simon Baron-Cohen , we have gained valuable methodological guidelines that have been used in the establishment of the Academic Research Center for Autism at Comenius University, as well as in our research projects.
- The second inspiring institution was the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, Nova Southeastern University, Florida USA https://www.uschool.nova.edu/ Through exchange stays with this university center, we have gained experience in diagnosing but also solving specific problems of autistic children within intervention programs. This comprehensive interdisciplinary workplace was a training workplace for several doctoral students within the grant schemes of the SAIA (Slovak Academic Information Agency) and the Fulbright Foundation.
- We cannot forget the valuable suggestions from the Children’s Psychiatric Clinic of the Motol University Hospital, where, thanks to its Head, prof. Michal Hrdlička, launched a diagnostic program for autism spectrum disorders in 1998 and continues to this day.
- In the fall of 2019, we were visited by a licensed child psychologist and behavioural analyst, Roseanne Lesack, PhD, BCBA, ABPP,, (Director of the Unicorn Children’s Foundation Clinic at Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA), who is one of the leading experts specializing in food selectivity behaviour therapy in children with ASD.
- Autism Screening (M-CHAT) was introduced on February 1., 2019.
- In 2015 , the book “Máme dieťa s autizmom” (We Have a Child with Autism) was published, it is a compass for parents of children with ASD, prepared in the form of questions and answers to the most frequently asked questions on autism.
- In May 2013 , ARCA was the first center to bring the globally recognized diagnostic methods for determining autism spectrum disordersto Slovakia. The center’s staff obtained certificates authorizing them to use psychodiagnostic scales in practice at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. After gaining sufficient skills, they obtained the right to train additional experts in the ADOS-2 diagnostic method at the Anna Freud National Center for Children and Families. To date, they have trained more than 150 experts from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but there is still a shortage of such professionals. Therefore, the center regularly organizes lectures and training events for professionals and parents in the field of autism, provides its experience and expertise to the general public, participates with its professional readiness to implement standard procedures for autism at the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic.
- In 2013, the collaboration began with a certified behavioural analyst, professor of psychology F. Charles (Bud) Mace from the Nova Southeastern University. The topic Basics of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and its importance in the treatment of children with autism was a benefit for Slovak experts as well as parents of children with ASD.
- In 2010, based on our results and experience, we prepared a professional monograph on autism “Autizmus z pohľadu neuropsychobiológie” (Autism from the Perspective of Neuropsychobiology), which received the Literary Fund Award for scientific and professional literature for the year 2010 in the category of Biological and Medical Science.