I would like to introduce you to someone.
My cousin Erin.
Not only is she amazing, funny, and way smarter than me…. She has a burden, a passion, to come alongside families with Autistic Children. She has a Masters in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, and is waiting to receive certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
In her own words she describes her work:
Throughout my experience I have aided families in providing a comprehensive approach for their child in order to ameliorate* deficits in social, academic/pre-academic, daily living and self-help skills (feeding, toileting, meal planning, shopping, self-care, etc), fine and gross motor skills, language/communication and lastly (I feel most importantly!) behaviorally. Each program was tailored to fit the child and family’s direct needs, whether through homework support, making a simple snack, trying a new food, decreasing a maladaptive behavior (tantrum, self-injury, assault, protest, repetitive behavior, etc).
……Ultimately, I believe that parents are the most important component of their child’s success. For many children they spend hours at school and there is not enough support (and lack of funding) to provide them with what they need. The greatest change that I have seen in a child’s life has been because parents/caregivers heeded the advice of professionals and implemented suggestions. While the work is tedious and can be difficult for a parent (seeing their child exhibit unwanted behaviors in the face of change) they will reap the greatest reward with consistency and follow through; and waiting out the unwanted behavior which is often exhibited in a bell curve (must go up before it comes down).
I am confident that the greatest change can come from the home, because this is where a child spends the majority of their time. Many children can exhibit different behaviors and successes in different environments because they are aware that various agents (teachers, peers, siblings, caregivers) have different expectations. Sooooo…this is why home schooled children with ASD can make tremendous strides!!! How exciting! Parents just need the right resources. I wish that I had the means to go to each and everyone’s home that need help and consult with them personally.
See, I knew you needed to meet her!
As I become more involved in the electronic homeschool community, I see a need; to answer questions, to provide encouragement, and simply to listen to the struggles that are so much a part of life for families that have children with ASD. I am not sure where this introduction will take us, but I am excited to find out…
So let’s get to know each other. Tell us about your child, and homeschool experience. Ask some questions.
How can we encourage you today?
*( ummmm… I had to look this word up… so I thought maybe I should put the definition : ameliorate : to make better, or improve upon. see, I told you she was way smarter than me…)