Back in October, I had the opportunity to speak at the Utah Head Start Association Conference for the Second year in a row. I always have the BEST time speaking at these events and was so excited and honored to be asked back again this year. I PROMISED I would post my presentation and am just barely getting around to it!! This year I presented on the ever important topic of Helping Children with Autism Succeed in the Classroom. This can be useful for educators, parents, peers and really, anyone who will come in contact with any child with Autism. (Which is pretty much…anyone!)
You may not even know that at your child’s 18 month Well Child Check your doctor will have you complete an Autism Checklist/Screener called the M-Chat. ( The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised (M-CHAT-R™) ) Yep! Its true. Most of the time, your pediatrican will quickly review the scores and only talk to you about it if there is a concern. (Note: Most pediatricians use the M-CHAT but not all).
So, what is the M-Chat? And what does it involve?
The M-CHAT is a “Scientifically validated tool for screening children between 16 and 30 months of age that assesses the risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” The great thing about the M-CHAT is that it was created to be administered to parents/guardians and then read and interpreted by a pediatrician.
Teaching Disability Acceptance to young children is a HUGE life skill that has unbelievable benefits. Research has shown that children who are taught about diversity early in life have higher self esteem, greater empathy, excel in education among many other things! One great way to teach disability acceptance is through children’s books! (Let’s face it- the amazingness of children’s books is non-stop!) Here is a list of 10 of the most awesome books that teach how we are different and the importance of disability acceptance!
“First of all, thank you for inviting me to be part of your blog. I love what you are doing and am honored that you think I have anything to say worth reading .
Second, let me introduce myself to your audience. My name is Lisa Wade. I am married to a wonderful man and we have four great kids. One daughter is married so we have a great son-in-law. Our youngest child, now 19, has autism. He was diagnosed at age 2 and it turned our world upside down. Mostly in a good way. Mostly. I work part-time from home and have done so for 20+ years. I love music, reading, am passionate about helping families with special needs kids and am slightly addicted to several TV shows! I live for my family and even though my kids are all adults now, my life still seems to revolve around them.
Get on the same page if at all possible. This is extremely important when you have a special needs child. One parent may not be ready to accept the diagnosis yet, or you may differ on which treatment plan to follow. That sets up an immediate source of conflict between you. Be willing to talk things out and seek to understand the other person’s point of view, not just be understood yourself. Be respectful even if you don’t agree. Be willing to compromise. When a decision is made, you and your spouse should back it fully and work together as a united team.
April is a pretty special month….For so many reasons!!! One- It’s the month of my Mom’s Birth!!!! If that is not a reason to celebrate I don’t know what is!! She is amazing in every single way. She is an inspiration to me and I love her with all my heart!
That is not the only reason that April is Awesome! It is Autism Awareness Month! If you have been following my posts this month you know this already! I have been sharing tips, information, facts and stories on Autism all month long.