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This content is taken from the Swinburne University of Technology's online course, Supporting and Engaging People with Autism. Join the course to learn more.

Valuing Special Interests

Murray Dawson-Smith, disability expert and advocate, explores special interests and the potential to build on special interests to develop social skills. He discusses the importance of understanding the drivers for the behaviour and how thinking creatively about how to use the special interests of a person with Autism, rather than trying to stop the behaviour. He suggests special interests can be used to support the development of social skills and their understanding of social rules.

About this contributor

Murray Dawson-Smith

Murray has been active in the community sector for in excess of 35 years and includes a broad range of experiences including community development roles in Indigenous communities in Tonga, Africa and Australia. Murray has also worked in Community Health, Housing and Indigenous employment programs. Murray worked closely with individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder through the provision of housing with a Disability Housing provider, Accommodation and Day Services with a service provider and was the CEO of Amaze (formerly Autism Victoria) for 6 years until February 2014 when he then took up his current the role as CEO of Distinctive Options, a Day service provider based in Sunbury. Murray continues to work with individuals on the Spectrum through the provision of advice and support.

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This video is from the free online course:

Supporting and Engaging People with Autism

Swinburne University of Technology