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

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


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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