Have you ever wondered what it's like to experience life through the eyes of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
This workshop - presented by SDN Beranga, an autism-specific preschool based in Rooty Hill that supports children with autism spectrum disorder and their families - gave educators the opportunity to find out as they question, discuss and reflect on their existing perceptions of ASD.
Christine Zuvela, Centre Director of SDN Beranga, believes that the workshop gives educators with a unique perspective on what a child with an autism spectrum disorder might be experiencing in an early childhood education and care environment.
“Children with ASD face challenges, particularly in the areas of social interaction and communication,” Christine said. “The workshop emphasises ASD as a difference in the brain rather than a disability and focuses on understanding how a child with ASD thinks and processes the environment.”
“The spectrum for a child with ASD is very long and each child with ASD is unique.” Christine added. “By providing an understanding of the nature of ASD, we support educators to recognise the challenges and identify the strengths of each individual child so they can plan experiences based on those strengths.”
“The workshop can be confronting but we find that most educators walk away from the two-hour session with their perspectives on ASD shifted or expanded.”
The workshop also showcases how SDN Beranga’s satellite program works with educators in mainstream early childhood and education centres to support children with ASD. "We use a lot of reflective questioning in the workshop which is a practice we use not only within SDN Beranga , we use it across the whole of SDN."
You can find out where and when SDN Beranga is running Exploring autism spectrum disorder workshops by clicking here.