Children with Autism at your service

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We are all different. Whether adult or child, we all look different, like and dislike different things, have our own unique personality and interact with others and our world in different ways. How boring would it be if we were all exactly the same!

Some of us need more help than others to get through life. ‘Additional needs’ means just that- needing additional help. However, we should all be valued and respected equally, whether we need a lot of help or not.

Some children with additional needs enter a children’s service with a professional diagnosis of Autism. They may already have an inclusion support programme in place from a previous service. Other children may have additional needs that aren’t yet diagnosed. Whether they have a diagnosis or not, each child requires targeted support to learn and develop based on their specific needs. Part of meeting all children’s needs is to listen and watch each child as they communicate with us, verbally or non-verbally, and to make sure we really see and hear what each child is trying to tell us.

Our role as educators is to safeguard each child’s wellbeing, find out and celebrate what each child knows, can do and understands, and promote each child’s learning and development in a way that best meets their needs. When supporting a child with Autism we do this in partnerships with parents and other professionals supporting the child.  Developing strong professional relationships where we each share the experiences we see and hear.  These relationships are built on trust. Most parents will only fully confide in you when they feel completely safe and confident in your professionalism. Parents’ knowledge of their child is an essential part of the intervention process and helps the early learning service build a holistic picture of the child. Remember too – a happy parent often leads to a more settled child.

With parents’ approval we work closely as a team with other professionals to achieve the best outcomes for children.

If developmentally appropriate, the child should be included in this process too. Early intervention is key to achieving the best possible outcomes and helping a child reach their full potential.

We must remember though that we are educators, not medical professionals. We support, we guide, but we don’t diagnose.

We use our professional expertise to sensitively raise our concerns about children’s learning and development with parents.  Picking the right time to discuss your concerns with parents is the hardest skill to learn. The journey to diagnosis can be an emotional one for everyone involved.

Never forget - your actions can shape their future.

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