Our expert guest in this episode is Dave Smallwood. Dave talks to Clare about autism and sensory needs, and how to support families and schools to support and work with children with these complex needs.
Dave is a Principal Team-Teach tutor and ex-behaviour lead of a special school for 10 years. Dave was also Staff Development Co-Ordinator for the National Autistic Society, where he also organised and delivered training.
Dave recommends the book The Red Beast: Controlling Anger in Children with Asperger’s Syndrome by K.I. Al-Ghani.
The three top tips Dave shares with us in the episode are:
- Communication. Always think about appropriate ways our young people communicate and we how we can support them with that and stay consistent.
- The less we say the better. When children are in a heightened state of anxiety or in crisis, it's difficult to process information. We need to simplify what we say to them at this point. Use simple messages that are short and to the point. Too many words are too overwhelming for people in this situation.
- Repetitive behaviours in autism. These can often be a way of regulating themselves and we shouldn’t necessarily stop them from doing it. If they need to do it, we should allow them to.
The My Family Coach podcasts covers every aspect of children's behaviour, all in handy 15 minute (ish) bite-sized chunks. Each episode features a new guest chatting about a different aspect of behaviour and leaves you with three handy tips to use at home.