Today, almost everyone knows someone who has a diagnosis of Autism. For parents, teachers, and human service providers, knowing this about a person is an important first step in understanding how to meet his or her needs.
However, “Autism” is not a thing. It is just a label, and it applies to a wide spectrum of characteristics that look different from person to person. At one end of this spectrum, the diagnosis describes people who may have average to above average intelligence, speak fluently, and appear introverted or socially different. At the other end, people may not speak at all, struggle with sensory issues, and have cognitive deficits. With that much variability, understanding the specific profiles that led to the diagnosis is critical for providing appropriate supports and interventions. Yet, assessment reports are often long, full of jargon, generic, and overwhelming to the reader.
With this in mind, The Baddour Center has asked Dr. Sheila Williamson to lead a workshop to help us understand how common features of Autism manifest in behavioral terms, and how we can help support or remediate missing or deficient skills, while nurturing each person’s specific gifts and talents. Dr. Williamson is a clinical psychologist and behavior analyst who has dedicated her professional career to working with children and adults with developmental disabilities, particularly Autism. Dr. Williamson will address such issues as language differences, sensory needs, desire for sameness, social skills, anxiety, processing speed, and visual thinking – just to name a few!
Her presentation will include not only a discussion of what these differences may look like in behavioral terms, but how they may lead to challenging behaviors when inadequately addressed, and ways to provide the supports needed to minimize those challenging situations.
The Baddour Center is excited to provide this training opportunity to our staff and families. We also welcome others in our area with an interest in this subject matter. This is a great opportunity for psychologists, behavior analysts, teachers, counselors, family members, direct support staff, etc.
If you have an interest in attending the workshop on March 7 from 8-12, please let me know. I can be reached at 662-366-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.