Autism and SN Guides Qld and beyond

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.

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Managing dysregulation

We have autism all wrong: The radical new approach we need to understand and treat it, an excerpt from “Uniquely Human: a different way of seeing autism” by Barry Prizant.

Instead of just managing behaviours, he suggests listening carefully, observing closely, and seeking to understand the child’s perspective and experience.

Usually the answer is that the person is experiencing some degree of emotional dysregulation. Our neurological systems help by filtering out excessive stimulation, telling us when we’re hungry or tired or when to protect ourselves from danger. People with autism, primarily due to underlying neurology (the way the brain’s wiring works), are unusually vulnerable to everyday emotional and physiological challenges. So they experience more feelings of discomfort, anxiety, and confusion than others. They also have more difficulty learning how to cope with these feelings and challenges.

To be clear: Difficulty staying well regulated emotionally and physiologically should be a core, defining feature of autism. Unfortunately professionals have long overlooked this, focusing on the resulting behaviors instead of the underlying causes.

Here is the important irony: Most of the behaviors commonly labeled “autistic behaviors” aren’t actually deficits at all. They’re strategies the person uses to feel better regulated emotionally.

ASD in Qld

My child has Autism Spectrum Disorder (information for Queensland families of children aged 9-17) is a succinct but thorough booklet with information about ASD, the diagnostic process, financial support, access to specialists and financial support for people in rural/remote areas, how to find therapists, services and support available in Queensland, school options, and transition from school. While some of the information is Queensland-specific, it is still useful as an overview to people in other states.

Aspie life experiences

I’ve just discovered a new-to-me blog called Life on the Spectrum. Some great articles, including a few about adult female diagnosis and life experience.  It’s this latter topic that I’m linking to here:

Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome– a very honest list of everyday life experiences, eg

People call you “sad” for being interested in interesting stuff.
You don’t understand what’s so funny about teasing. You feel you’re being mocked.
You are exhausted by always pretending to be normal, but fearful the Real You will be rejected.
You laugh later, and more loudly, than everyone else.
You feel “different” from most people, and feel that you don’t “fit in”.

Assaulted by the detail– her description of “detail assault” is very thorough and understandable, especially with the specific example she provided.

We aspies can’t help consciously processing a huge amount of input at any given moment, whereas others can just subconsciously filter it out. It doesn’t have to be a sudden event either; a large amount of general input can render me completely dysfunctional given enough time. It’s all about the quantity.

Please, spare a thought for everything else that’s going on in an aspie’s head and, if you spot him going off on a mental tangent, realise his distraction might be conscious, but it’s not necessarily voluntary.