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ECE Resources

Supporting children with autism in ECE

In this informative webinar session, Dr Hannah Waddington (Victoria University of Wellington) and PhD student Jessica Tupou discussed strategies and practical techniques for supporting autistic children in an early childhood setting.

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article.


Topics discussed in this webinar:

Times shown in minutes and seconds from the start of the video

1.00 What is autism and what are some signs of autism in young children?
7.18 How might autistic children’s difficulties impact on their learning in ECE?
12.13 What should teachers do if they recognise children’s difficulties as autistic spectrum difficulties?
16.44 How important is it to have a diagnosis?
18.54 Do autistic children need to have a specialist or dedicated person for their support in a centre?
21.38 Relationships with parents of autistic children
24.10 How to support peer relationships, as well as support peers to develop empathy and understanding of difference
28.51 How to support children with over- or under-arousal
30.56 Modifications to the physical environment to support autistic children
32.45 How to respond to children’s fixations and special interests
37.26 How to respond to children’s fixation on a particular person
39.00 How to respond to children putting everything into their mouths
39.55 Supporting children without 1:1 ratios
41.00 Other conditions that co-occur with autism
42.24 Working with parents who refuse a referral
44.02 The importance of early intervention for autism

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar

Do all teachers have an understanding of the common indicators of autism?

How might you provide daily opportunities for each teacher to have a one-on-one interaction with an autistic child?

What specific strategies have supported teachers to build relationships with autistic children?

Which peers might you identify as particularly suited for social interactions with autistic children?

In what ways might you support parents of autistic children?

How well does your centre environment meet the needs of autistic children?

By Dr Hannah Waddington

PREPARED FOR THE EDUCATION HUB BY

Dr Hannah Waddington

Hannah is a lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, and is also a practicing educational psychologist and certified early start Denver model therapist. Her research focusses on the evaluation of early intervention approaches for young children with autism which are effective and feasible in a New Zealand context.

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