I was going to write a big post, filled with details about my second day at the Victorian Autism Conference (you can read day one here), but it’s Friday night, I am tired and wrung out, and a glass of wine has my name on it.
So in abridged bullet point form, my Top 10 thoughts and learnings on today, in no particular order…
- We are doing a lot of good things at Poss’ school. I am very very proud of the strategies we have in place, and how much work Poss’ teacher, aide and the wider teaching staff put in every day.
- Inclusion and acceptance goes far beyond our kids. As adults we all need to show some tolerance to others choices. And some presenters need to learn some professionalism.
- “Each strategy will only work for approx. one in ten kids – but for that one kid, it can make all the difference” – Sue Larkey.
- It’s ok not to try everything.
- The professionals are as frustrated with the funding for kids on the spectrum as the parents are.
- Social stories are an amazing tool; one that we need to use more at home.
- Instead of relying on consequences and threats, we need to use motivation and rewards more. Now to find what motivates her…
- Taking a moment to think (and telling Poss that’s what I am doing) before responding isn’t a bad thing. It shows that I don’t have all the answers (or gives me time to calm my tone) and models it’s ok for her to ask for that too.
- The benefits in using pictures (both in things like comic strip conversations as well as traditional visual aides) can’t be emphasised enough; with three of the discussions today focussing on ways to use them (albeit in different ways).
- No equals never in the minds of kids on the spectrum, both when we say it to them and when they say it to us
I came home today and snuggled with a very tired Poss on the couch, the weight of her head on my lap and I felt nothing but proud that we have the chance to parent this amazing little girl.
Finally – one last thing – Sue Larkey finished her talk today with this, which I kind of love a little bit…
People with ASD do not SUFFER from ASD. They suffer from the attitudes of other people and how they treat them. – Tony Attwood
Did you come along today? What is your top take away?