How to talk to my family & friends about my child's autism
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How to talk to my family & friends about my child's autism

Learn about autism, how to speak to family, friends, professionals & resources available to help your child w/ autism.
0.0 (0 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
124 students enrolled
Created by Valarie Whiting
Last updated 1/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 37 mins on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the basics of autism
  • Learn skills for helping your child with autism
  • Discover resources available in your area for assistance
  • Know how to ask for assistance
  • How to talk with your family and friends
  • How to speak to professionals
View Curriculum
  • None needed

As a parent of a child with autism, it can be a daunting task looking for help and information. This 35 minute class will begin the conversation to prepare you and your family for living with autism. I have been working with individuals and autism spectrum disorder since 1980. Currently, I am the Director of Staff Development for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. This ensures my varied background working with families.

I can offer you direction, support and assistance in speaking with professionals. I can help you talk about autism with your family and friends. In this course, you will learn:

1. What can I do as a parent of a child with autism?

2. What resources are out there for families who have children with autism?

3. How do I talk to my family and friends about autism and our child?

4. What therapies are available for individuals with autism?

5. How do I "speak" about autism with the professionals?

6. What do all the autism acronyms mean?

Today, almost everyone knows someone with autism. And yet, there is rarely any information on how we can support a family with this diagnosis. All too often, because people don't know what to do…they do nothing! I will provide you with guidance on having that conversation with friends and family. You will need those close to you to have understanding about how this affects your family. I will provide you with guidance on having that conversation with “The Professionals”. It may not be easy…but you will need them.

I commend and praise you for taking these first steps in educating yourself about your child's autism.

You know what they say 'knowledge is power' and you will need both!

This will be a life-long journey. Dr. V-

Who is the target audience?
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Grandparents
  • Direct support professionals
  • Child care professionals
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Curriculum For This Course
Autism and me
3 Lectures 03:42
What if I need help?
1 page


Let's check your knowledge
5 questions

Introduction to your instructor Dr Valarie Whiting, Director of Training and Professional Development in Massachusetts at the Department of Developmental Disabilities since 2004.

Preview 03:42

Video welcome from me to class

A video of welcome from me
86.1 kB
How to Tell if Your Child Has Autism
1 Lecture 02:48
Autism! What do I need to know?
3 Lectures 07:02

Technical names for various autism and autism spectrum disorders are discussed

Types of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Learn the most common difficulties children with autism experience

Preview 02:47
Being a parent and a family...
2 Lectures 11:56

Loving, supporting and remembering this is YOUR child!

Practicing your parenting skills - things to remember...

Finding help with telling family and friends

How do I tell your family...what do I say...
What's available for help?
1 Lecture 01:53

Very brief overview of the most popular therapies available to children with autism

Brief overview of autism therapies
How to work the 'system' - Where to seek assistance? What do I say?
1 Lecture 07:19

Learn how the languages of the professionals - what are the common phrases, how to talk and get services

Working the 'system'
Local and national resources to assist you
1 Lecture 02:48

Inside information about sources not readily advertised...unless you're in the know!

How to find local resources and help
What now?
2 Lectures 00:02
Where do we go from here?
1 page


End of course quiz
4 questions
About the Instructor
Valarie Whiting
4.3 Average rating
8 Reviews
1,203 Students
3 Courses
Director Training & Professional Development Massachusetts

Dr Valarie has worked in Human Services for over 30 years. She has experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Acquired Brain Injury, and Intellectual Disabilities which ensures her varied background working with families and individuals. For the past 10 years, she has been the Director of Training and Professional Development for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.

Her expertise in this field is reflected by several recent accomplishments:

  • Recipient of the 2014 Citation for Outstanding Performance given by the Department of Developmental Services and the Governor’s Office.
  • Recipient 2012 Outstanding Performance Award, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services
  • Recipient 2011 Project Development Award for the Building Partnership Initiative Awareness and Action Project
  • Recipient of the 2007 Eugene H Ronney Award – The Massachusetts Legislature established the Eugene H Rooney Jr. Public Service Award to recognize employees who have demonstrated creativity and innovation in the area of human resources development and training - the highest award given to individuals in the Commonwealth
  • Professional Experience:

    Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services

    Boston, MA

    October 2004 – now

    Responsible for leadership of the training department to include statewide initiatives such as the ‘Massachusetts Management Certificate Program’, the ‘Aspiring Supervisor’s Program’, ‘Making a Contribution’, ‘Community College Direct Support Certificate Program’, ‘Awareness and Action’, and orientation of 7800 state employees for the department – Development and dissemination of curriculum for state and college programs– Training support for over 332 Non-Profit Provider Agencies statewide – Management and support of statewide diversity project – Development and assessment of current training and staff development curriculum

  • Work, Inc.
    Division Director
    New Bedford, MA
    · The Division Director provides the management of the employment unit in New Bedford. -Supervision of all staff assigned to the program. -Hiring, evaluation, training and discharge of division employees. -Management of budgeted revenue and expense categories. -Ensure safety of staff and persons served in the division. -Carried out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with company policies and applicable laws. -Planning, assigning, training and directing all work activities.

  • The Kennedy-Donovan Center
    Program Administrator
    Foxboro, MA – Cape Cod Residential Program
    · Administration of the residential programs of seven private, non-profit, residential homes on Cape Cod for 31 adults with Developmental Disabilities. -Development and supervision of a year-round applied behavior analysis treatment program stressing the documentation and verification of individualized programs for each adult. -Development and supervision of a Family Support Services Program providing advocacy, referral and intervention for families living on the Cape and the Islands

    Behavior Specialist at Lewis Bay Head Injury Center

    Hyannis, MA

    The May Institute, Inc.

    Head Teacher for autistic children

    Chatham, MA