This Youtube clip, with the rather unwieldy name of “Communication Practices: Non directive language, engineering environments with Erin” is 45 minutes long, and isn’t as scary as its name sounds. The term “engineering environments” simply means to set up the environment you’re working in for best outcomes, in this case, modelling AAC. There are some great practical suggestions there, especially for those just starting out with AAC modelling, when it feels quite overwhelming. I liked the idea of having a duplicate of the child’s AAC on hand for yourself to use, wherever you may be, whether that’s a laminated set of screen captures attached to a handbag strap, or an iron-on piece of cloth in the nappy bag.
I have seen many of Professor Tony Attwood’s presentations on Youtube, but found this half-hour speech, from the Annual Women’s Health Update, Sydney 2015, to be especially good. While I knew a fair bit of the content (eg that a lot of Aspie girls like reading fiction), I didn’t know why that was so important/indicative (because the text clearly spells out what someone is thinking and feeling). Or that Aspie girls’ speech is often comprised of borrowed phrases from television/movies, and they repeat it in the accent they heard it, which is why some of them have unusual accents.
This short Youtube clip contains many slang sayings in a story, with literal illustrations. I have read many accounts of the literalism of Autistic people- clips like this make me realise how common absurd statements are in conversation!
Here are some great resources promoting disability inclusion in the church. While written by and for different denominations, the information and suggestions would work across most church communities.
The Diocese of Oxford has put together a very thorough 23-page booklet called Welcoming Autistic people in our churches and communities. It’s a very practical set of guidelines, explaining some of the features of Autism, and some quick low-cost changes that can make a huge difference for Autistic people (eg change fluorescent lighting, check noise levels, give clear instructions, explain any complicated language either at the time or later, warn of physical events, have a quiet/rest area available etc). I especially liked the “hard” and “easy” descriptions of an Autistic person visiting church.
Based on the above booklet, is this checklist for How Autism Friendly is your church? Readers are encouraged to consider the place and environment, events and what is going on, and people and social activities.
This clip, by Rev Malcolm Duncan, senior pastor at Goldhill Baptist Church, is fantastic- says it all. I highly recommend listening to it. He talks about how disabled people are treated in the church, and the church’s mission to, with and alongside people with disabilities. People with disabilities are not first and foremost people who have something wrong with them, they are sons and daughters of the living God. Inclusion isn’t about ramps and loos, as important as they are, it’s about heart and attitude, it’s about a change of mindset that sees people, not as objects of charity, but as equals.
Making churches accessible– this short article has some simple suggestions for how to make church services accessible for people with learning disabilities.
“Evidence suggests that churches that have actively made their worship services accessible to people with learning disabilities the services become accessible to many others; people with poor literacy, for those whom English is not the first language, people from un-churched backgrounds who have no experience of Christian language, and increasingly for people with dementia.”
Education of girls on the autism spectrum– webinar from the UK’s National Autistic Society. Quite a long webinar, but a very thorough overview about girls on the spectrum. Great as a one-stop overview for people new to how differently autism presents in females.
One of the incredibly resourceful ladies I’ve had the privilege of “meeting” through Facebook has put together two very indepth resource guides that she is keen for people to share wherever they would be useful.
A Resource Guide & Ideas for Therapists, Teachers, Parents and Carers working with people with Special Needs- covers a multitude of topics, and is well worth checking out.
The Queensland Autism Parents Handbook is 101 pages and is a comprehensive guide to autism services, support, tips and ideas for Qld. The book is most relevant to Qld but is a valuable source of info wherever you live.
Supporting Competence: the parent’s journey (Profectum). This presentation features Ido Kedar, his mother Tracy Kedar, and Elaine Hall. Ido wrote a very insightful book called “Ido in Autismland”, which I have reviewed here, and Elaine is the author of “Now I see the moon”. For those who can’t access Ido’s book, this is a great summary/introduction to his story, and his passion to see parents, therapists and teachers presume competence in non-verbal Autistic people, and Tracy and Elaine tell similar stories.