Since Covid 19 lockdown, autism act parent support work has grown in strength and numbers of parents engaging with the services has also grown. It’s an element to the business that has been a positive outcome from the current situation, and let’s face it, there hasn’t been many of those!
When I worked as a local authority autism specialist teacher, parent work was limited and became more limited over time, contact with parents through support groups officially stopped and school became the only way to access parents. So the current work is also a new, but very welcome addition to autism act as I know it is needed.
Parent consultation is very bespoke as you know your child best and can be dealing with very different issues to those in school, at the very least having a different perspective in a different environment for the same need. In many respects, I approach parent consultations in the same way as I do school consultations, as basic autism understanding for me is the key to a solid base. Through consultation, I guide you to understand how those differences relate to your child. Experience of doing this has consolidated this as the best approach I can offer. It still links to my Masters Degree dissertation; understanding the key areas of autistic difference underpins everything!
As part of parent consultation, I also guide you with ideas for strategies to try at home; this may be ideas to try to meet sensory needs, the use of visual supports at home to help set up routines for the morning or bedtime, help your wider family to understand more autism and how they can support you.
It is clear to be aware of what I don’t provide as part of the service; I don’t work with your child and I have a clear reason for this. It is not a sustainable approach, if I work directly with your child, I am not empowering you. And that is one of my core values – enabling you to be empowered and carry out the strategies and ideas yourself. So I support you to do this work yourself through consultancy and training and if you are local to autism act, I can do this face to face. If not, I can do this via zoom or skype.
Next month, I will be advertising my new 5 week parent course – destination autism …. guiding your journey. This will consist of 5 x 90 minute workshops via zoom. The sessions will cover the key areas of autistic difference and give you ideas and strategies to try while raising your knowledge of autism and building your confidence. There will be an accompanying handbook which is sent prior to the course and as the weeks go on, you can follow along with it, fill it in, make notes as a record of the course. The course itself will run in September and October 2020. As it is via zoom, it is open to parents all over the country. Exciting times ahead for autism act … and parents!
As I say in any work I have done over the years, even before autism act, I don’t have a magic wand, I can’t sugar coat things for you but I can offer good quality advice in a friendly and approachable manner.