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!)
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!
As dedicated as I am to Special Education I cannot tell a parent of a child with a disability that I fully understand what they are going through. Yes, I know their children well and I work with them daily. But, I do not know what it is like to be a parent of a child with a disability. While studying in College one of my professors taught a class on the grieving process that parents go through when they find out their child has, or will have a disability. She shared this story, “Welcome to Holland”, by Emily Perl Kingsley. This story put things into a little better perspective for me.
“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.
Technology can be such a huge tool while teaching these little people! Not only is technology extremely motivating but you can find apps for just about any behavior you want to correct. Now, do I believe that hours of screen time is appropriate for kids? NO! But, when used correctly technology can be one of your biggest tools as a parent or educator working on tricky behaviors! Check out these four amazing apps for helping with behavior issues. These APPs are also all Autism Approved! Meaning- they are all tools that can be a HUGE help in the day-to-day life of a child with Autism. To get the full version of these APPS it will cost a little. But most of them you can try out for free! But, in my opinion if possible- these APPS are well worth the money!