Here at Active Speech Pathology, our clinicians are always learning. Cara recently attended professional development on Supporting Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The event was presented by a Speech Pathologist who was dually certified as an Applied Behaviour Analyst. This allowed for a unique perspective and some new learnings.

The top three takeaways of the days were:

1 ASDetect – There is a fantastic app, developed in Australia, that allows parents to work through and explore concerns they may have about their young child (aged 11-30 months). The app is called ASDetect and uses video led assessments. It provides a summary that you can take straight to your GP and discuss. Take a look at the website to find out more: Your speech pathologist at Active Speech will also play an important role in investigating your concerns, and can assist you to work through the app.

2 Functions of behaviour – the why? Often people attribute the behaviours of children with ASD as being related to their sensory needs or preferences, however there are other reasons that may explain their behaviour, that should also be considered. As therapists (and families) , we can use different strategies to support behaviours, depending on the why. Functions of behaviour can include:

  • To escape or avoid a situation
  • To gain attention (not always negatively, sometimes socially!)
  • To get what is wanted
  • To be automatically rewarded

3 New sensory toys – The presenter shared her favourite sensory toys used in her work. She had some great suggestions and you might see some new additions in the Active Speech clinic on your next visit!