People unfamiliar with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might expect a child who is always unhappy or withdrawn. Seeing Julie at childcare could change their minds. She is affectionate, spirited and active. She loves to laugh!
Certainly, Julie has tricky moments of frustration, but STaR has shared useful strategies with her educators at Thinking Hats Early Learning Centre to support her in learning new skills. One of these strategies is using visuals to communicate with her. For example, pictures encourage Julie to sit with other children for lunch and scrape her plate ready for the washing up tub, or a sequence board with her favourite play activities supports her to do one activity first then another when playing indoors. Outdoors is where Julie is happiest. There she loves water play, the sensory garden, painting and dolls.
Sitting with a group of children can be challenging, so starting with an exciting story or song has helped her to join the group and to stay for a while. The skills Julie has learned in childcare will help her at the school she gained early entry to. Julie’s mother was very happy with this placement as it was the right setting to accommodate her daughter’s needs. Although her educators were sad to see Julie go, they said “We know she will make her mark at big school and shine bright.”