Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Mainstream Primary Classroom - March 2nd 2019, UWA, Perth


Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Mainstream Primary Classroom - March 2nd 2019, UWA, Perth


This intensive, unique workshop is presented by Gemma Foxall, M.Ed. She is in the final year of her doctoral research project, specialising in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Gemma has over 15 years teaching experience in the UK and Western Australia and her professional development events are presented by combining four perspectives: teacher, researcher, parent, therapist.

Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Mainstream Primary Classroom is aimed at anyone supporting a student attending a mainstream primary classroom. Scroll down for a detailed workshop summary.

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This is ACT for Autism’s most popular one day workshop and has been a sold out event every time it has run. Previous participants have commented “This is the best PD I’ve ever been to.” The workshop last ran in May 2018 and feedback data showed 97% of attendees rated their experience as “excellent” or “very good.”

Participants attending this workshop receive a colour printed workbook, certificate, USB stick, and complete the following practical sessions:

1) The Research: What’s the latest neurological findings and how they impact today’s classrooms and learning outcomes

In this session a new way of thinking about Autism is presented. We know that Autism is a Spectrum Disorder, and we know that “you’ve met one person with Autism, and you’ve met one person with Autism.” Awareness and acceptance is constantly increasing in today’s society; yet we can not fully meet a student’s needs unless we learn not only about what strategies may work, but why. Educators and allied health professionals deserve an opportunity to adopt a more advanced approach to developing positive behaviour supports and social inclusion programs and they can not do this unless they leave the workshop feeling equipped to tackle new challenges with an evidence-based theoretical framework.

2) Maximising Inclusion and Desired Behaviour in a Mainstream Setting

It is in this session where participants learn the importance of true inclusion, and what that looks and feels like. People with Autistic brains often report feeling lonely and their desire to have stronger social relationships. In this workshop an evidence-based social inclusion program will be presented, with research from the U.S. finding that academic outcomes were improved for all children in the class, as well as inclusive measures for children on the spectrum. Just like “there is no I in team” there is also “no Autism in Applied Behaviour Analysis.” Sharing key aspects of these scientific principles will assist professionals in more effectively shaping the behaviour of their pupils and will provide participants with the knowledge to adapt their pedagogy so that all class members may reach their potential.

3) Practical Strategies to Reduce the Disabling Features of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Mainstream Classroom

Most children with ASD in mainstream schools do not get 1:1 support from education assistant for all their attendance time. Therefore, it is crucial that professionals supporting these children develop a large repertoire of practical ideas to apply that do not depend on access to an additional adult. This session presents a range of practical strategies that can be implemented individually, in small group settings or in whole class activities. The crucial components of an effective strategy for supporting a child with Autism is that it is lowering the cognitive load for them, thereby increasing the likelihood for compliance, achievement and joy in learning tasks. Successful strategies will help more than one individual (there is a lot of neurodiversity in every classroom!) and knowing how to select strategies is a skill that will be introduced in this workshop.