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Week 1 Wrap Up

This article summarises the key points for the week.
Key Takeaways
© Swinburne University of Technology 2020

This week we focussed on an introduction to autism using the person first approach. We had videos by Donna Williams and Jeanette Purkis that gave us an insight into the lived experiences of individuals with Autism. Take some time to reflect on the videos and how they are relevant for your own lives and others in your care.

The thinking skill that we practised this week was person first. We provided you with two scenarios and asked you to put yourself in the shoes of either John or Jaya.

We also had commentary from individuals with autism who were able to give their perspective on the scenarios. All of the contributions were valuable and demonstrated the many person first possibilities.

This week it was important to stay in possibility mode by thinking from the perspective of the person with autism. Some went straight into solution mode, which is not the skill we are practising yet, but quite understandable. It is human nature to try to solve the issue from your own perspective. Remember when you are using the person first approach you must look at all the possibilities before trying to solve the challenge. This is not an easy skill to grasp, so we will be practising and building on this vital thinking skill throughout the MOOC.

This week a couple of important points came through. Firstly, communication with all parties involved in any situation is vital. For example if something arises at school, then we need to ensure clear and open communication with all parties involved. Secondly, it was emphasised that often in these situations there are clear teachable moments. However, it is important to try to widen them out if possible and maybe consider involving others such as teachers, support workers or siblings even. And of course try to keep thinking in person first mode. For those wanting to extend their learning, we have additional videos and resources each week. Next week, Dr Karen Guldberg explores evidence based practice and the importance of listening to the lived experience. See you in Week 2!

© Swinburne University of Technology 2020
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Supporting and Engaging People with Autism

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