Deb Keen and Sylvia Rodger have a new book out Working with Parents of a Newly Diagnosed Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Guide for Professionals. It sets out the type of support that is most beneficial to families immediately following an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis.
I heard Deb Keen talk on Radio National’s PM program about the book. The transcript from the interview includes these observations from Deb:
- One of the most validated approaches in early intervention with children with autism is the behavioural approach.
- It teaches specific behaviours and skills by breaking those down into small steps and teaching that in an intensive, usually one on one approach and using techniques such as re-enforcement when the child is able to do the task correctly.
- Some of the things that we work with parents to do is look at quite simple strategies they can use in the home to facilitate the child’s communication by using photographs of objects and food and that help the child to be able to use those photographs instead of words to communicate their basic needs.
- What we have found is how important it is that at the time of diagnosis that parents have access to something immediately in terms of helping them to know how to support their child but also I think in terms of being able to make decisions about the kind of intervention they want to seek for their child in the longer term.
I pay great attention to any news of resources to help parents. I have been fortunate to meet Bob Buckley and he has sensitised me to A4 issues. He has helped me understand too the enormous boost all teachers can gain from thinking about the pedagogy and practice of A4 teaching and support for learners.