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Welcome to my “Make a Difference” Blog.

Sue in Red

time saver clockTips, Strategies, Time Savers and Inspiration to help make difference for a child with an ASD in your class, home or community.  

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10 Tips Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum

10 Tips Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum

Recently on my Facebook page I posted “Growing Up Autistic: 10 Tips for Teenagers with Asperger Syndrome or Mild Autism” by Chris Bonnello. It had a huge response and Chris has kindly given me permission to put the full article on my website. Parents, educators and teens all found the article very helpful so please,… Continue Reading

Tips for Transitioning 2017 – Start Planning Now

Tips for Transitioning 2017 – Start Planning Now

Transition includes change in teacher, change in room, change in students in the class not just starting preschool, school, high school and beyond. The nature of ASD is such that transition can be extremely stressful, no matter what age or how BIG or SMALL the change maybe. Changing Teacher is like…. Moving to a Foreign… Continue Reading

Top Tips for Toilet Training

Top Tips for Toilet Training

            Tips for Toileting (easy to Print Version below) Toilet training your child is a big task even for neuro-typical children. Parents often procrastinate over when to start and we keep delaying it for whatever reason we can think of! My biggest concern for children with ASD is if they… Continue Reading

Key Tips to Engage in Learning – E-Book

Key Tips to Engage in Learning – E-Book

Content of E-Book √ Top 12 Tips to Set Up for Success √ Using Sensory Toys to Improve Learning and Behaviour √ Different Ways of Teaching √ Use Rewards and Special Interests to Motivate and Engage in Learning √ 12 Top Tips to Keeping on Task √ Why and How to Use Visuals √ 9… Continue Reading

Here’s How to Set up a Passive Playground / Lunchtime Club

Here’s How to Set up a Passive Playground / Lunchtime Club

Many schools have introduced Lunchtime Clubs and had great success. Playgrounds are unstructured, unpredictable places where children with ASD struggle to follow and join in the numerous social interactions surrounding them. Children with ASD frequently return to class from the playground in a high state of anxiety. In addition, their self-esteem frequently takes a battering.… Continue Reading

Little Known Ways Girls with ASD differ from boys with ASD

Little Known Ways Girls with ASD differ from boys with ASD

Girls with ASD are often undiagnosed, because original diagnostic criteria have a boy bias. The criteria were created by actually examining mainly boys, and the girls can be very different. I think we all know ‘neuro-typical’ boys and girls are very different in their social, communication and behaviour. There are many characteristics that are very… Continue Reading

Sue Larkey’s Complete Newsletter Term 3 – 2016

Sue Larkey’s Complete Newsletter Term 3 – 2016

For those of on holidays or about to start the break.  I thought you might like some holidays reading -Term 3 Newsletter. By subscribing to our newsletter below you will then be able to print out or read online the complete newsletter. Many of you would have heard me say “It takes a community to raise… Continue Reading

Puberty and Sex Education for Home & School

Puberty and Sex Education for Home & School

Puberty is a natural development for all children. Puberty starts in girls around 10-11 and boys 11-12. Menstruation for girls typically occurs between 12 and 13, while voice changes for boys is often around 15. We ALL need to have on-going discussions with the child and this is where having both home and school helping the child’s… Continue Reading

Just Calm Down

Just Calm Down

 Has anyone ever told you to calm down? How did you respond? Have you ever sent a child to a “break area / time out” and it escalated the behaviour? Do you know children who have difficulty regulating emotions?  Do you know kids who struggle with friendships because of emotional reactions?   Are you struggling… Continue Reading

Fine Motor Challenges – Quick Solutions

Fine Motor Challenges – Quick Solutions

Role of Writing and Fine Motor Skills  “The process of writing requires much more than the ability to form pretty letters. The writing process involves skills in language, organization, motor control and planning, and sensory processing: four areas that are problematic for many individuals with ASD. It is essential that parents and teachers consider how… Continue Reading

You Can’t STOP Behaviour! Just Replace It

You Can’t STOP Behaviour! Just Replace It

Understanding Sensory Needs Dr Temple Grandin talks a great deal about her sensory needs, how sensory has been one of her biggest challenges in life, and how a huge amount of her behaviour could have been stopped by some simple clothing changes (e.g. pants not dresses). By recognising and understanding a child’s sensory needs we can put… Continue Reading

Is That A Meltdown or Tantrum?

Is That A Meltdown or Tantrum?

  Recognising and managing meltdowns and tantrums is vital to support people with ASD. Every child with ASD will experience very individual symptoms that are unique to them. Not all individuals with ASD will experience a “meltdown” and instead may “shut down.”It is very important you are familiar with each child’s triggers and responses. In this… Continue Reading

Sue Larkey’s Complete Newsletter Term 2 – 2016

Sue Larkey’s Complete Newsletter Term 2 – 2016

A Different Way of Learning and Engaging People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience the world differently. In this Newsletter I have explored and explained a range of different ways to support their learning, engaging, behaviour and more. Many children with ASD, ADHD, developmental delays, etc. need a range of adaptions and educational supports to… Continue Reading

How to Make the Biggest Difference – part 2

How to Make the Biggest Difference – part 2

Autism Awareness Day Sat April 2nd (or anytime in April is Autism Awareness Month) Your opportunity to make Big Difference in 2016Great Books to Read to Children, Students, Family & Community during April Acceptance is the key to making a difference. When people understand that a child with ASD learns differently and needs different supports… Continue Reading

8 Key Strategies for Working with Families

8 Key Strategies for Working with Families

In my experience successful education for a child with ASD starts with a positive working relationship between home and school. One of the biggest challenges for parents/carers and teachers is to develop an effective relationship. It is in the interest of everyone involved – child, staff and families – that we create a positive partnership.… Continue Reading

Do You Know When You Get the Most “Behaviours” and Why?

Do You Know When You Get the Most “Behaviours” and Why?

Transition from One Activity to Another Many children with ASD have difficulties accepting change and transition from one activity to another. In fact, most behaviour happens during change/transition. In my experience this is because it requires problem solving, choices and adults tend to use more verbal information instead of visual information. It can also be… Continue Reading

12 Top Tips to Set Up for Success in 2016 (plus a Bonus)

12 Top Tips to Set Up for Success in 2016 (plus a Bonus)

Understand their difference (strengths and challenges), accept their different way of thinking, learning, socialising, etc .(Great reference to understanding ASD is Dr Tony Attwood’s books). Break it down. Break tasks down into smaller parts and give them each step sequentially. If possible, give them a checklist to mark off as they do each step. Do… Continue Reading

Sue Larkey Complete Newsletter Term 1 2016

Sue Larkey Complete Newsletter Term 1 2016

Many of you may just be finding out who the students are in your class or who is your child’s teacher. This is a great time to catch up on my Time Savers and Proven Practical Strategies if the student has an ASD, ADHD, ADD, ODD or SPD diagnosis. This Newsletter contains  How to Make the Biggest Difference in 2016… Continue Reading

Preparing up Your Classroom for Success – 19 Strategies

Preparing up Your Classroom for Success – 19 Strategies

It can take a lot of energy and planning to get each student off to a good start for a new school year. When you may have one or two children in your class on the Autism Spectrum, this is even more important for their benefit and your other students. Getting the Classroom Structures right is a… Continue Reading

Term 4 = Change, Concerts, Excursions, Holidays – 12 Tips

Term 4 = Change, Concerts, Excursions, Holidays – 12 Tips

For Schools: Concerts, Exams, Tests, Excursions, Transition to New Class/School, Orientation days and more. For Families: Holidays, Preparing for new teachers, Family Visitors, Christmas, New Year and more. 12 Essential Tips Concerts & End of Year Celebrations 1.    Use Schedules, Calendars, Diaries to forewarn about upcoming events 2.    Photos: Take Photographs or find pictures of people, places.… Continue Reading

Highly Anxious Children – What To Do

Highly Anxious Children – What To Do

For many students on the Autism Spectrum, their biggest challenge is anxiety. This can be anxiety about making choices, friendship, making mistakes, separation anxiety, any change in routine or staff and the list goes on.  Research has shown that more than 75% of all children with an ASD, ODD, ADHD experience INTENSE anxious feelings. Some… Continue Reading

Three Stages of a Meltdown & What You Can Do About It

Three Stages of a Meltdown & What You Can Do About It

Managing meltdowns is very important. I believe the key is getting in early and putting in place strategies before the behaviour escalates.  You will need a range of strategies to prevent the meltdown escalating. For some students strategies that may help include: ignoring, distracting, redirecting, send on an errand, and more. Understanding the Three Stages… Continue Reading

Top 10 Books For Professional Library & Why

Top 10 Books For Professional Library & Why

With So Many Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and ODD Resources Available, Which are Essentials for a Professional and Why? There are so many resources now available to help teach children on the autism spectrum and it can be difficult to know which ones will be the most helpful – and this is a question I am… Continue Reading

Autism Spectrum Key Tips for Schools – E-Book

Autism Spectrum Key Tips for Schools – E-Book

Content of E-Book √ Total of 41 Tips & Strategies √ 8 Key Strategies for Setting Up for Success √ Schedules and Timers √ 10 Essential Strategies for Inclusion √ Creating Successful Playgrounds √ Summary Profile of Student  8 Key Strategies for Setting Up for Success If you have a student on the autism spectrum… Continue Reading

Super Seven Tips to Engage the Disengaged Child

Super Seven Tips to Engage the Disengaged Child

Many students with ASD need adaptations, supports, curriculum differentiation. You may find that in some subjects these are not required i.e. they are naturally engaged in that subject or topic. However, when they are disengaged you may need to try a range of different strategies to make learning successful. I have included Seven Super Strategies to… Continue Reading

Sue Larkey Transition Tips

Sue Larkey Transition Tips

Transition includes change in teacher, change in room, change in students in the class not just starting preschool, school, high school and beyond. The nature of ASD is such that transition can be extremely stressful, no matter what age or how BIG or SMALL the change maybe. Changing Teacher is like…. Moving to a Foreign… Continue Reading

7 Top Tips For Visual Communication

7 Top Tips For Visual Communication

  Visual Communication (Easy to Download Version Below) Current research says that as many as 25% of people with ASD are non-verbal. Others can talk but have difficulty communicating their needs, they maybe echolalic, selective mute* or have limited words. Unfortunately some children with regressive autism may learn to talk and lose their words and they… Continue Reading

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