Grounded in a comprehensive exploration fueled by insights from specialists from Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Portugal – drawing from 39 interviews and 105 questionnaire responses – this Handbook insights encompass the main and frequently referenced pedagogical methodologies and activities at engaging people with ASD and DS.

Central to these methodologies is taking into consideration the special needs and capabilities of each person or group and use of individual methods. Individualization: Recognize that each individual with ASD/DS is unique and has different strengths, challenges, and interests.

Tailor the art-based methodologies to meet their specific needs and preferences, considering factors such as sensory sensitivities, communication abilities, and cognitive levels.

Pedagogical methodologies adapted to young people with ASD

  • Mix of several methodologies to adapt to the specific needs of each individual
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methodology
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) methodology
  • TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-related Handicapped Children) methodology

Pedagogical methodologies adapted to young people with DS

  • Task Analysis and Self-Monitoring
  • Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention

For both groups

  • Visual and multisensory learning
  • Self-pacing and peer tutoring
  • Art therapy (Music, painting, sculpting, dance, acting)
  • Storytelling, Role playing and Theatre classes
  • Art projects and exhibitions
  • Create appropriate proposals, without creating expectations, taking into account that the experience creates well-being
  • Personal Development Planning (PDP) and Person-Centered Planning (PCP) methodology


The Curriculum on how to support young people with DS/ASD to become agents of social change through art is addressed to art and mental health professionals working with young people with DS/ASD.

This training is aimed at professionals working with young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Down syndrome (DS), giving them additional skills to create lasting outcomes and empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to overcome barriers to self-expression and social integration.

The project is in line with the objectives of the EU and Erasmus+ programmes, which aim to promote inclusive and innovative societies.

This training is designed to equip specialists, professionals and carers with the knowledge, skills and strategies needed to support young people with ASD and DS to develop their social and entrepreneurial skills through arts entrepreneurship.

By addressing the barriers, they face, fostering flexibility, communication, joint attention and eye contact, and promoting self-expression and self-reflection.

The Curriculum contains 5 modules:

  • Teaching young people with ASD/DS
  • Art and young people with special needs
  • Introduction to “Artrepreneurship”
  • Promoting an Artistic Venture
  • Art as a driver for social participation

Transnational Report

In this report, we present an in-depth exploration of the organization, implementation, and assessment of the TUA Training Curriculum, delving into the findings and outcomes of TUA’s transnational pilot initiatives. Through a synthesis of data, feedback, and testimonials, we aim to elucidate the successes, challenges, and opportunities that lie ahead on the path towards creating truly inclusive and empowering educational environments. Together, let us celebrate the triumphs of TUA and chart a course towards a future where every young individual, regardless of circumstance, is afforded the opportunity to realise their full potential through the transformative power of art and education.