On Thursday 26th October 2017 we were incredibly lucky to have some local training in Helensburgh by The Curly Hair Project. Founded by Alis Rowe who herself has an ASD diagnosis I was intrigued to learn from a different point of view. Unaware what to expect I signed up for both sessions ASD and Anxiety, Meltdowns and Shutdowns, issues that are commonplace in any house with an autistic spectrum disorder. On display are an array of books to help support the talk available to purchase.
We arrive and are greeted by our trainer and made to feel extremely welcome. We begin our first section ASD and Anxiety, by the end I am walking away with more strategies and a new way of thinking on how I can help my child. Some information I had read and I knew but I also learnt a lot. We learned how our children might perceive their anxiety and it was enlightening. Sometimes I know myself I get so focused on helping and intervening that I forget that in some ways they need to learn to self regulate that help. Sometimes the best thing we can do for them is to step back and let them do what they have to do to cope. We learnt what we can do to help them before the anxiety begins so that when they are feeling the tightness, the sore stomach, the fast breathing or however they present they can use techniques to help themselves. In our home we also struggle to communicate that build up of feeling and to use words to explain, we were given ideas on how we can work with our children who can't verbalise at that time in a simple way to try and help how they feel and to hopefully help us intervene before they cant cope.
After lunch we begin Meltdowns and Shutdowns. This was very interesting, in a group activity realising that sometimes we can overlook the small things when it comes to our ASD children and why they are having a meltdown but also empowering to see all the little things we as parents did think of that could be causing meltdowns. We learnt how to approach meltdowns after the event and actually realise sometimes I myself am probably enraging the fire of the meltdown. We gained skills we can use to work with our children and hopefully make our home life much easier.
Here are some views from people who attended The Curly Hair Project :
I admit as a parent sometimes I think I have got this, I know what i'm doing. Yesterday I walked away with 4 A4 pages of notes on how I can help my children. I feel positive as I walk away and excited to implement some of the strategies I have learnt. I cannot strongly enough encourage people, if you have the opportunity, invest in yourself, your knowledge and attend training from The Curly Hair Project.
Attending the morning session on ASD and Anxiety was excellent. The session was informative, helpful and the books available to buy supported the subject. I asked for a copy of a couple of the slides and they were emailed to me the same day. Tori was approachable, friendly and delivered the presentation in the set time. Really enjoyed it.