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-
Introduction to your instructor Dr Valarie Whiting, Director of Training and Professional Development in Massachusetts at the Department of Developmental Disabilities since 2004.
Video welcome from me to class
Autism it's growth in numbers today
Technical names for various autism and autism spectrum disorders are discussed
Loving, supporting and remembering this is YOUR child!
Finding help with telling family and friends
Very brief overview of the most popular therapies available to children with autism
Learn how the languages of the professionals - what are the common phrases, how to talk and get services
Inside information about sources not readily advertised...unless you're in the know!
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:
Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services
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
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
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
The May Institute, Inc.
Head Teacher for autistic children