Two years ago I attended a Positive Partnerships workshop and learned so much from it; additionally I made strong friendships with other parents travelling this journey, people I still talk to daily now. I recently able to attended another two day workshop run by Positive Partnerships and thought I would share my notes…
Positive Partnerships is a national program run by federal government, information remains consistent across the seminars nationally.
I loved that the workshops have picture schedules to model to parents how to use them.
It also warmed my heart to hear this in the introduction talk:
“people might be doing something quite different with their child and their family and that’s okay”
The organisers acknowledged that all children are different and that families need to utilise different techniques and that is okay.
Positive Partnerships aim to help parents work out best way to be an advocate for your child and work within the school system. Autism can be very isolating; parents at the seminars are encouraged to network and build connections.
There were community representatives present from Moreland council, Amaze, Aspect and the Department of Education who moved between the tables talking to parents during the activities and also participated in a question and answer session on the first day.
Tables were organised by preschool, primary, secondary – helping parents to build networks with other parents who had children at similar stages. We were also given coloured dots for our name tags that indicated which suburb areas we came from to help build connections in our home towns.
“every single child is different”
Focus was on the diversity of autism – communication, social interaction, behaviors, sensory processing, information processing/learning style, intellectual ability – and tailoring a learning plan to your child.
The context of workshop was to give you better understanding of your child. Big picture stuff to work out where you can go from here and will also give you resources to follow up and links to contact.
We were given a planning matrix to fill out which tries to capture information that parents feel they often have to tell and retell. Designed to be a snapshot of your child in one page so not info overload for professionals. For this planning matrix alone it would be worth attending the seminar or doing their online program, it is seriously brilliant.
A tip for schooling:
All children with autism respond to positive reinforcement. It is just finding out what is reinforcing for the child which may be quite different from other children. You could use their special interest as a reward.
Core objective is to develop positive partnerships in order to improve educational outcomes for students with autism. Parent/Carer working with schools and teachers in positive way – joint problem solving.
We did some group activities looking at working as team with school from a parent/carer point of view and then from teachers point of view.
Interesting factoid shared on the day:
Families of a child with a disability are 4 times more stressed than typical developing kids. Families of child with autism 6 times more stressed.
Which is why we need to build positive partnerships and support networks.
Take time to think about your needs.
Who is your support group?
Don’t wait till you are at the end of your tether before asking for help.
It was a fascinating day, learning how to build a good relationship with your school, being provided with lists of local resources to help build those relationships and access support, I left very much looking forward to day 2.