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  • Autism SA Info Line
    1300 AUTISM
    (1300 288 476)
    1300 288 476

In Focus Workshops for Families

In Focus Family Workshops are presented to a small group by experienced professionals. Sessions focus on a specific topic and focus on developing families and carers knowledge, understanding and skills in that particular area. Sessions aim to be interactive, practical and realistic for participants.

NDIS funding can be used to access these workshops if approved by an NDIA planner.

In order to use NDIS funding to access these workshops you must have 'Improved Daily Living Skills' OR 'CB Daily Living' listed as a support item within your child's NDIS plan, have a budget allocated to this line, and the plan does not expire prior to the session.

For Terms of Trade, pelase click here. 

Scheduled In Focus Family workshops are listed below:

Workshop Title and Information 

Registration

Date

Time

Implementing 'The Incredible 5-Point Scale' for Families

Register here

Thursday, 22nd February 2018

10:00am - 1:00pm

2018 Autism Conference Series - Happiness, Neuroharmony and The Predictive Mind - CLOSED Register here Monday, 26th February 2018 9:30am - 4:15pm
Supporting Girls on the Autism Spectrum Register here Monday, 5th March 2018 9:30am - 12:30pm
Supporting your child through high school Register here Tuesday, 10th April 2018 9:30am - 12:30pm
Setting up 'A' and 'B' choices in the home Register here Thursday, 3rd May 2018 9:30am - 12:30pm
Supporting sensory challenges in the home; Masterclass from an Occupational Therapist Register here Tuesday, 29th May 2018 10:00am - 1:00pm
Writing social scripts to develop social understanding for parents/carers Register here Friday, 22nd June 2018 9:30am - 12:30pm

Please see below for a brief description of the workshops. Please note that many are currently un scheduled. 

Implementing 'The Incredible 5-Point Scale' for Families

Autism SA has developed a workshop based on Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis ‘The Incredible 5-Point Scale’ program. The two special education teachers designed a program ‘that “talks in numbers” rather than in socially and emotionally laden words’ (Buron, Curtis, 2003). Autism SA staff have used the program in a range of environments and have found it to be highly effective.  This workshop will explore how to specifically implement the program in the home setting.

Topics covered include:

• The philosophy behind the program;

• Looking at the resources;

• Overview of the program, including hands-on activities;

• How to implement the program in the home setting; and

• How to monitor and tweak the program to ensure success.

2018 Autism Conference Series - Happiness, Neuroharmony and The Predictive Mind

Presented by Dr Peter Vermeulen PhD, offering a new perspective and providing techniques and strategies for effectively supporting people on the autism spectrum.

Autism and Happiness: from Neurodiversity to Neuroharmony

The first step when supporting a person on the spectrum should always be striving for quality of life and a focus on similarities, not differences.  In this session, Peter will look at what connects people with autism to the rest of the community - the pursuit of happiness.  Knowing the sources of happiness for a person with autism is a prerequisite for creating an environment that makes these sources available and for developing strategies that increase the person’s emotional wellbeing.  Most interventions focus on negative feelings and mitigating specific deficits, but Peter will emphasise the importance of identifying strengths, passions and skills to ensure people on the spectrum are empowered to achieve at every opportunity.  This session will revolutionise the way individuals on the spectrum think about autism, and how families and professionals support them in their future practices.

The Predictive Mind and Autism as Context Blindness

In this engaging, practical session, Peter will discuss groundbreaking research that contradicts what we know about how people process information and supports the idea that we don’t process everything around us, but rather, that prediction errors occur. Context reveals and directs our perception, and therefore influences and directs our response.  For people on the spectrum, difficulties with seeing and understanding context can explain why they have issues with communication, social interaction, flexible thinking and behaviour in daily living.  The concept of context blindness offers a unique and practical understanding of autism.  We are often supporting absolute thinkers in a world with multiple possibilities. 

Peter will explain in everyday terms how the autistic brain functions and present practical strategies, including how to:

• Effectively develop emotional understanding;

• Best teach social skills;

• Support behaviour by increasing predictability;

• Develop environments that are autism friendly; and

• ‘Push the context button’ to help people on the spectrum understand the world around them.

Supporting Girls on the Autism Spectrum

The difference between typically developing boys and girls is important. This is especially so when considering the unique needs of girls on the autism spectrum.

Topics covered include:

• Special interests and obsessions;

• Social and communication skills;

• Developing friendship skills;

• Internal anxiety and depression;

• Using their strengths to build self esteem; and

• Bullying.

Supporting your child through high school

This workshop is specifically designed for parents who have a child starting high school in 2018, or one who is currently attending high school. This session will be presented by a consultant teacher with extensive experience in the autism field, who has previously taught in high schools.

Topics covered include:

• What to expect;

• Who to talk to at the high school and what

support your child might be eligible to access at school;

• Preparing your child for the transition from primary to high school;

• Creating and implementing systems to support academic expectations – learning new routines, use of organisational folders, assignment break down, and recording homework;

• Developing social understanding;

• Bullying prevention and strategies;

• Anxiety and stress management;

• If things are not going well; and

• Post school pathways - transition from school to tertiary study/employment/other e.g Day Options

Setting up A and B Choices

In this workshop, parents/carers learn how to use the highly visual, concrete program The Way to A© in the home environment. 

The program provides visual information to assist a person to clearly identify ‘A’ and ‘B’ choices, and to provide motivation to make ‘A’ choices.

Supporting sensory challenges in the home; Masterclass from an Occupational Therapist

This session will be run by an Occupational Therapist who works closely with individuals on the autism spectrum. The workshop will cover sensory processing difficulties and the impact these can have on the individual. The presenter will guide participants through a range of practical strategies that can be used to support an individual in the home and community environment.

Writing social scripts to develop social understanding for parents/carers

Individuals on the autism spectrum find it difficult to understand and apply social expectations in a range of situations. This workshop, presented by experienced professionals who work direct with individuals on the autism spectrum, will guide parents through the process of developing specific social narratives to develop their child’s social understanding relating to a particular area.  The workshop takes note of the specific criteria in relation to developing Social Stories© by Carol Gray, an evidence based intervention for individuals on the autism spectrum. Parents will have time to develop a specific social script for their child and become familiar with the formula to create further scripts.

The Anxiety Curve; What to do when a person on the autism spectrum is escalating

The workshop recognises that a large portion of people on the autism spectrum have high anxiety levels. By utilising the program ‘The Incredible 5-Point Scale’ staff at Autism SA have developed a clear, comprehensive A4 behaviour plan which has been highly effective when used with individuals on the spectrum in a range of environments. 

This workshop is designed for professionals and families and guides participants to explicitly identify what a person with anxiety looks like at the five different levels, and what support staff and families should do when an individual is at these different levels. By having a clear plan, and having specific roles during the escalation phase, we can often prevent or minimise the outcome.

Topics include:

  • Developing a 5-point plan
  • What are the signs at each level that a person is escalating
  • What you should do at each level of the 5-point plan

Supporting your Child through High School

This workshop is specifically designed for parents who have a child starting high school in 2018, or one who is currently attending high school.

This session will be presented by a consultant teacher with extensive experience in the autism field, who has previously taught in high schools.

This session will outline a range of key areas relating to the high school environment including:

  • What to expect - who to talk to at the high school and what support your child might be eligible to access at school;
  • Preparing your child for the transition from primary to high school;
  • Creating and implementing systems to support academic expectations – learning new routines, use of organisational folders, assignment break down, recording homework;
  • Developing social understanding;
  • Bullying prevention and strategies;
  • Anxiety and stress management;
  • If things are not going well; and
  • Post school pathways - transition from school to tertiary study/employment/other (eg Day Options).