Autism & Disability Consultants
Talking Matters offers an autism and disability consultancy service, which provides advice and direct services in child care, kindergarten and school settings. The consultants bring skills in managing children's behaviour challenges in school or home settings in a positive way. The Autism and Disability Consultants have specialised areas of intervention.
Positive behaviour support service
Families with a child who has complex needs and challenging behaviour often feel stressed, anxious, frustrated and unsure about how to best support their child. One of our Autism Disability Consultants works alongside our psychologist to support parents to manage their child's challenging behaviour using an evidence based approach called Positive Behaviour Support. The process begins by understanding why the child shows the challenging behaviours and then works to reduce it by:
- Changing the environment.
- Providing more effective ways to communicate.
- Replacing unwanted behaviours with more acceptable ones.
This approach considers the child's needs, and others in the child's environment, to bring about practical, positive, long term changes. To find out more about this program and how it works download the Positive Behaviour Support pamphlet.
How does it work?
Support begins with assessment of the behaviour, including looking at the social, emotional, cognitive and environmental factors that affect the behaviour. Once the behaviour is well understood, the parent and consultant work together to develop a behaviour support plan which may include:
- Reducing triggers
- Understanding and responding to early warning signs
- Using appropriate ways to respond to the behaviour
- Helping the child learn new positive behaviours
- Helping the child to return to positive behaviours
- Measurement of progress and change.
The parent and consultant then meet regularly to support the parent in following the plan, making any changes as needed, and measuring progress until parents feel they are skilled to manage without the additional coaching.
School or preschool support service
The service takes place within the child's classroom and care is taken by the consultant to minimise the impact her presence may have on the classroom routine, and other children within the environment. Through consultation with educators, an Autism and Disability Consultant can support in identifying priorities, and recommend practical ideas and strategies to assist in a more successful inclusion of the child in their learning environment. Services may include the following:
- Supporting other professionals including educators in building their skill in supporting children with disabilities
- Consultancy with groups, or individual staff to discuss and address teacher and/or parent concerns
- Identify appropriate strategies to support students in childcare, kindergarten or school
- Support in developing visual supports to aid children's learning and behaviour
- Advocacy services at meetings for transfer of skills into childcare, kindergarten or school
- Support in maximising participation in educational settings
- Assisting staff to identify existing strategies and supporting them in strengthening practices
- Assisting educators in the inclusion of children within their room
- Translating therapy strategies into the classroom environment
- Support with adapting curriculum and the creation of developmentally appropriate goals and activities
Services can be funded either privately or by parental request as part of a child's NDIS plan to address specific goals in their plan. For more information on this service please download the School Support Services pamphlet (PDF).