Autism Training

 

This Autism Training is designed for parents, and gives families REAL tools for helping their child!

Let me ask you something...
Which of the following photographs best describes life with your child?

Utter chaos

calm

Does your child know how to stay with you, or do they run away when they feel like it?

When you go to the store, do you actually get what you came for, or do you end up with a bunch of stuff you don't want because you have to "race" through your shopping before your child whigs out?

Does your child have eating issues? Do they have a diet of about 2 foods, and only drink apple juice?

Are you tired not being able to go to the bank, to Church, to K-Mart, etc. because your child can't stay in the cart, wait in line, leave things alone, etc., etc., etc.?

If you're the parent of a child with autism, chances are you spend most of your life in a state of (pick all that apply):

  • exhaustion
  • frustration
  • anger
  • stress
  • depression

Even the best school program can only do so much with the time they have. So we parents are left tearing our hair out in frustration over how to get help in the real world of home, grocery stores, neighborhoods, and everywhere else we live.

FINALLY some help - Help has arrived in the form of a new autism training program created with parents in mind.

Autism Training for Parents

This autism training, aptly named "Parent Training: An Adjustment in Perspective", is offered by Pyramid Educational Consultants, the people who invented the Picture Exchange Communication System (or PECS), and I attended a session a couple of weeks ago.

I spent the two day session listening, learning and participating in various exercises that focus on understanding behavior and communication.

While my son Lucas just turned 18, most of the parents at this autism training session had young children. These parents are just beginning the journey of parenting an autistic child, and are off to a great start thanks to what they've learned.

About the presenter - Dr. Kris Battaglini is the presenter and developer of this particular autism training workshop. He spent many years working directly with parents as the Senior Psychologist and then Program Director of the Sussex Consortium in Delaware, a site of the Delaware Autism Program that achieved national recognition in 2002 when the Autism Society of America named it the number one autism program in the nation.

The methods he teaches during this autism training are well documented, very effective methods that he and other staff at the Delaware Autism Program have used with great results for years.

Dr. Battaglini has a direct way of speaking and the ability to explain things clearly. He presents the material in a variety of ways, using examples, visual aids and audience participation (any of which can add some humor to this autism training!)

Focus on - This autism training helped parents to understand some basic concepts about behavior. Then through the use of exercises and real life examples, we were taught practical ways to help our kids by using these basic concepts.

Thanks to his years of experience working with parents and students in the Delaware Autism Program, Dr. Battaglini could provide examples from real life for most questions and scenarios we came up with.

We were given exercises that helped us to think in new ways, and ample time to ask questions.

We were shown how to expand those basic behavior concepts to deal with just about any issue in just about any setting, reminding us that everywhere our child goes can be a "classroom" for teaching appropriate behavior.

This autism training taught us:

  • How OUR actions and reactions can figure into how our children behave and communicate. (Who knew?)
  • The functions of behavior, (or "why your child does those things!")
  • The "A B C's" of behavior, and the correct way to develop routines.
  • The DETAILS of "what to do and how to do it" to get results.
  • What to do when things go wrong (and they will!)
  • How to use reinforcements appropriately.
  • The concepts of time out, prompting, shaping, fading and their appropriate use.
  • An overview of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), a method that teaches children to initiate communication.

There was a lot more covered during the two day workshop, but this gives you an idea of what this autism training provides to parents.

The entire workshop was very upbeat and encouraging, and had parents actually trying out ideas at the end of the first day so they could report back on day two.

Future help - Dr. Battaglini invited all parents attending the autism training to take a business card so they could contact him later if they had questions about the training topics.

Not a consultation - While he could help with questions relating to the training, Dr. Battaglini made it clear to parents that since he hadn't met or observed their children, he could only provide follow-up information based on his knowledge and experience, not as a "case consultation" for their specific situation.

Cost of Autism Training, and how we funded it -

This autism training workshop is a new offering from Pyramid Educational Consultants. Because of that, you won't find it offered in too many places yet.

The current (Spring 2008) cost of this 16 hour workshop is $150 per person, and in my opinion it's worth every penny.

But many school districts here in Delaware have offered it to their parents, and by getting creative, we parents paid just $10 (to cover lunch) for two days of autism training at my son's school.

Our school district applied for a grant from our local Autism Society, and went in with 2 other school districts to split the remaining cost of this autism training. All three districts invited parents of students with autism and other disabilities, because while this training was designed for people with autism, the same methods work for other disabilities.

So consider asking the local Autism Society, ARC, other groups for people with disabilities and local businesses if they'll help you fund this training.

Ask your local school district (and others nearby) if they'd be interested joining forces to help parents get the training they need to help their children.

Scheduling autism training

The autism training that I attended was held over a weekend, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. But there was talk about scheduling it during two school days, so that the parents could attend without having to find child care (always a worry with our kids!)

Again, Dr. Battaglini is used to working with families dealing with autism, and understands these issues. He was open to what worked best for us parents as far as scheduling this autism training.

For more info - Contact Pyramid Educational Consultants
Website: www.pecs.com
Toll-free: 1-888-732-7462

In addition to this workshop, they offer many other autism training sessions, including workshops on:

  • The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Language and Communication
  • Excellence in Teaching
  • The "Short Talk" series, which includes various short sessions on PECS, school issues, behavior and other important subjects for those who live with or teach people with autism.

If you're looking for tried and true techniques that you can learn and use for a lifetime to help your child AND YOURSELF, look into attending this Autism Training or bringing it to your town.

See other articles on parenting an autistic child on the left, next to our current article.

Return to Autism Parent Support.

 

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