Autism parents conference

AUsome Training supporting parents and carers

AUsome Training has been supporting parents for years and there are common themes we have noticed. We now bring you our first Parents Autism Conference specifically tailored for your needs. We have created an event that will address the needs of parents of newly diagnosed children or for parents who are awaiting a diagnosis.

AUsome Training knows that this can be an overwhelming time for parents because of the tragedy narrative around autism. There are overwhelming amounts of information available and unfortunately far too much misinformation. By attending our Parents Autism Conference you can cut through all this misinformation and find out what you really need to know to raise a confident and happy Autistic child.

Parents Autism Conference Speakers include:

  • Evaleen Whelton “Communication: it’s a two-way thing!”
  • Frank L Ludwig: “Autistic Play”
  • Eoin Stephens: “Good Enough” – Minding your Mental Health as a Parent”
  • Stiof MacAmhalghaidh: “My Self, My Space: Building confidence and control in young Autistics”
  • Karen and Damon Mathew Wise: Panel Discussion on “Dealing with the System”

AUsome Parents Autism Conference is an autism conference for parents of Autistic children. It is an autism conference with a difference. Our conference teaches parents about autism from the Autistic viewpoint. It is the only autism conference in Ireland organised by Autistic trainers and delivered by a line-up of all Autistic presenters. And now it’s available online!

If you want to know about autism then Autistic people can explain it to you. Most autism courses or training events unfortunately try to explain autism from the outside perspective or from the non-autistic perspective.

Following on from the huge success of our very first all- autistic autism conference in Feb 2019 we held our second AUsome Conference on November 15th 2020.

Now we are bringing you an online autism conference specifically for parents of recently diagnosed children or of children who are awaiting diagnosis.

Our parents autism conference will give you the confidence to believe in your own skills and abilities as a parent. It will give you an understanding of how your child experiences the world. We are dedicated to creating better lives for Autistic children and adults so empowering parents is very much part of what we do best.

Our unique line up of Autistic conference speakers covers a range of topics to empower parents:

” Communication: it’s a two-way thing!” 

When we think of autism and social skills we may think of deficits. We may not know that those ideas are now very outdated. No one needs these outdated ideas where Autistic people need to be taught and trained how to behave in social situations. These sort of antiquated ideas only harm the Autistic sense of self. They also harm otherwise beautiful relationships between Autistic and non-autistic people. This presentation will help bridge the gaps in communication in the home and provide parents with practical strategies and tips to build wonderful relationships with their children.

  • Stiof MacAmhalghaidh will present on

‘My Self, My Space: Building confidence and control in young Autistics’

  The ability of many Autistic parents to raise their Autistic children while avoiding a lot of the common struggles non-Autistic parents experience is a curious phenomenon that has become more and more obvious. When you ask, the answer often amounts to “you just know” and that’s the clue we start from.

Growing and developing a sense of your self, your space and your boundaries – and those of others – is at the heart of childhood development. Our cultures are designed to guide and support this process, and parents are themselves raised to internalise many skills subconsciously, know how to pick up on cues, have an instinct for interacting with their little one. They just know. It feels right. But if the child is Autistic, a range of factors get in the way and slow or halt the this development, throw parents off, and makes it all confusing.

It also can result in far too much stress for everyone involved, and leave Autistic children growing up feeling unsure of their boundaries, lacking confidence in their own senses and understanding, anxious of failure and unable to spread out and fill their space in the world.

Our world is just not set up for Autistic people, and that starts from day one. It is not set up to support parents of Autistic kids either. Understanding how and why that happens and what the impact is over time helps us adjust how we interact with Autistic children from newborn to adulthood.

We will discuss the idea of the extended self, and how each of us builds our sense of who we are around many overlapping ‘personal spaces.’ We will look at how knowing where your boundaries lie and feeling in control of the spaces within is the foundation for lifelong confidence and quality of life.

More AUsome Presenters supporting parents…

Eoin Stephens will present on”“Good Enough” – Minding your Mental Health as a ParentAs 2020 has shown us, ongoing intense uncertainty can put severe strain on our mental health. The adjustments that need to be made by the parents of a child who is or may be neurodivergent bring a lot of uncertainty, not least the uncertainty of knowing who to listen to for reliable information regarding the child’s wellbeing.This is especially true for highly responsible, high standard, parents.And of course, no matter how well parents may adjust, the outside world may not be so flexible, especially as the child grows towards and into adulthood.The stresses that arise can be difficult to manage, but getting stuck in patterns such as worry, self-blame, or perfectionism only makes things worse.This talk will look at Cognitive-Behavioural ways to minimise and manage these unhelpful responses, helping to make the raising of a neurodivergent child the most positive experience possible for both parents and child.

Frank L Ludwig is an early years childcare worker who will present on “Autistic Play”. Frank will explain how Autistic play can differ from non-autistic play and how Autistic play should be embraced and encouraged. Frank tells us“The Collins dictionary defines play as consisting of ‘games, exercise, or other activity undertaken for pleasure, diversion, etc’, and Wikipedia states that ‘play is a range of intrinsically motivated activities done for recreational pleasure and enjoyment’. Accordingly there can’t be any way of ‘playing inappropriately’, and yet this is exactly what many autistic children are accused of. While autistic children may have other interests and approaches due to their individual nature, there is always purpose in their way of playing, even if that purpose isn’t obvious to others; for example, by lining up toys they may hone their counting skills or create subtle patterns, and by permanently spinning the wheels of their toy cars they may figure out the mechanics.In my speech I will demonstrate that all autistic play serves a purpose, and that suppressing autistic play means suppressing the individual development of the autistic child.

Karen and Damon Mathew Wise are parents to Autistic children who will take part in our panel discussion at our Parents Autism Conference on “Dealing with the System”. They will take part in our panel discussion for parents on how to navigate diagnosis and the system.  This is based on their own life experience as Autistic parents to Autistic children and years of advocacy for the Autistic Community. The information required by parents is being slowly steered away from a medical/professional stance. Their focus is on how to just enjoy the experience of having a child. Karen tells us “So many parents and family members are so motivated to get the treatments, services and education that they get weary. I know because I have encountered these obstacles for over 20 years. I was too busy being an advocate and not being a parent. Every child has a unique personality and childhood. I learnt to describe my children by their diagnoses to the medical professionals and by their personality to their teachers and relatives. ” She also tells parents to  “Come along and join the fun. We are real people, we have spouses and children. I have learned through experience and discrimination, how to navigate the insanity that is trying to access your legal entitlements in this country. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, learn from the experts.”

 One more speaker TBC soon!

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