Welcome to my “Make a Difference” Blog.

Tips, 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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8 Ways I Can Help You & The Kids You Know

8 WAYS ​I CAN HELP YOU AND THE STUDENTS WITH AUTISM YOU KNOW​ E-Newsletter - sign up here Blogs - read here. If you are looking for a specific topic the quickest way is to use search for your Topic of Interest in the search bar of my website! It is highly likely I have covered the topic you are looking for.  Free Webinars open Oct 11th - Oct 25th - watch now.  Facebook Groups - Join Now  Sue Larkey Podcast Community  Sue Larkey Parent/Carer Support Group Sue Larkey Together We Are Stronger   Online Courses. Watch now. Click Here to Compare the Courses and choose which one is right for you Virtual Events. Available in Your Local Time. Interactive PD Day with certificate upon completion.  More information suelarkey.com.au/autism-workshops PD Day for your School/Organisation (Virtual or Face to Face) More information  Ask me a question via email, facebook etc  Another way I can help you is my books! Not sure which one - click on the book and it will send you to a video of me...

Handwriting Tips For Students with Autism Spectrum

HANDWRITING TIPS ​FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM​Dysgraphia is a deficiency in the ability to write, regardless of the ability to read and not due to intellectual impairment. It is known to be associated with Autism (specifically Asperger Syndrome) and ADHD. Some key facts about children with Dysgraphia: Can usually write on some level, but often lack motor coordination. May find other fine motor tasks such as tying shoes difficult, though often does not affect all fine motor skills. Can lack basic spelling skills (e.g. having difficulties with the letters p, q, b and d). Often will write the wrong word when trying to formulate thoughts (on paper). Generally emerges when the child is first introduced to writing. The child may make inappropriately sized and spaced letters or write wrong or misspelled words despite thorough instruction. Once we have learnt to write we can write without having to concentrate or focus. However for these students it takes a HUGE amount of energy and...

Why Kids on the Spectrum are More Likely to be Perfectionists & What You can do to Support Them

WHY KIDS ON THE SPECTRUM ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE PERFECTIONISTS AND ​WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT THEMMany students on the spectrum like everything to be perfect. That is perfectionism perceived by them. This is often due to their literal thinking and one- track mind. This can lead to many challenges at home and school. For example; getting frustrated, not wanting to try new or different things, rigid thinking (I need to be first, I need to win), anxiety (I am a failure, I can’t do x), disengaged, not handing in work as never “finished” to their standard. Many people on the spectrum often have difficulty with “cognitive flexibility”, in other words they have a one-track mind as their thinking tends to be rigid and not adapt to failure or change. This one-track mind can often manifest itself into refusal to try new concepts and activities. A one-track mind can look like  Student continues using incorrect strategies and not learning from mistakes  Not listening to advice  Compulsion for...

Growing Up Autistic: 11 Tips for Teenagers with Autism by Chris Bonnello

11 TIPS FOR GROWING UP ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM  ARTICLE WRITTEN BY CHRIS BONNELLO  I was the weird kid. More specifically, I was the boy with Asperger Syndrome before anyone knew what Asperger Syndrome was. When I was ten, an educational pscyhologist came to assess me. Today one of those assessments would give me an immediate diagnosis, and my parents and teachers would be offered advice on how to help me where I struggled. But of course, it was 1995. So this professional pscyhologist wrote down "slightly odd personality" on his form and that's where it ended. (I'm not kidding, that is a literal quote from the report he wrote and submitted). Growing up on the autism spectrum can be difficult. Especially if, as I've described before, you're on the "mild" end of the spectrum - 'normal enough' for people to have high expectations of you, but just 'autistic enough' to really struggle to achieve them. If you're growing up on the spectrum, these tips were written for you. I grew up with...

Using Cooking To Teach Children with Autism

USING COOKING TO TEACH CHILDREN WITH AUTISM Cooking! One of the best ways to Teach Everything from life skills, social skills, maths, science, english and more! Cooking is a daily activity for everyone. It is a wonderful activity to teach ALL ages and stages. Cooking is an activity families, schools, community groups - indeed anyone can do it, and it provides long time recreation and independent living skills.  Through cooking you can teach all curriculum areas. By providing a structured programme with goals/ learning outcomes you can develop a cooking programme that addresses the learning style and needs of the individual student. One child may use the programme to learn to read while another may use it to communicate, using visuals. I have worked in may schools where Teacher Assistants/ Aides/ Support Staff take groups to do cooking activities. It is a FUN way to teach lots of skills.10 Ways to Use Cooking To Teach Children with AutismSequencing: cut up recipes and get the child...

Tips and Strategies For Girls With Autism

TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR GIRLS WITH AUTISM Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Girls with autism are often undiagnosed or diagnosed much later, because original diagnostic criteria have a boy bias. The challenge of receviving a proper diagnosis for their daughter is a early hurdle faced by many parents. The reason for this late diagnosis is that the criteria for diagnosing autsim was created by 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 similar to boys with autism spectrum but I thought I would list the main differences to girls with autism spectrum. 9 Ways Girls with Autism Differ to Boys with AutismTheir special interests are usually animals, music, art, literature.They often have a very good imagination which includes imaginary...

Reading and Hyperlexia

HOW TO TEACH READING TO CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYPERLEXIA  Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD The ability to read is an essential skill that spans a child’s school-age years and beyond. Reading provides personal enjoyment, access to information, and opens doors to opportunities throughout life, both recreational and occupational. Because the ability to read and comprehend is closely linked to an individual’s language abilities and social understanding, children with autism often struggle with the process of reading. (Excerpt from How Do I Teach this Kid to Read by Kimberley Henry, page viii) Teaching reading to children with an ASD can be very different to teaching other children. There are a few additional challenges to teaching reading to a child with an ASD. This may include: They have learnt letters and sounds but can’t put back together as words e.g. sound out c-a-t but don’t...

Strategies for Common Behaviours in Children with Autism

Strategies for Common Behaviours in Children with Autism Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Today I will be interviewing Beth Aune! Beth is a pediatric occupational theraprist with over 22 years experience, which includes working in the Special Education department in many schools. This vast experience and knowledge shines through in her easy to read books which are jam packed with tips & strategies that you can quickly implement. Her books are called Behaviour Solutions however I personally call them ‘See a Behaviour Look It Up’ as they are such easy references and allow you to try strategies on the go. Beth has kindly answered a number of questions from my Sue Larkey Podcast Community so please listen if you would like to hear what she said! In my interview with Beth we discuss How parents inspired her to write her first book How to help kids who mimic behaviours from other people How to overcome body...

How Do I Tell A Child They Have Autism?

HOW DO I TELL A CHILD THEY HAVE AUTISM?  Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Argh one of the number one questions that parents have and a very complex one!         This week for my podcast episode I interviewed Dean Beadle. Dean has toured the UK and internationally for fifteen years as an autistic speaker and trainer. He is also a proud promoter of the autistic voice, encouraging and empowering other autistic people to share their experiences and insights too.     In this episode Dean explains when he found out his diagnosis and his advice and guidance for parents who are wondering about when to disclose a diagnosis to their child.   In my interview with Dean we discuss Autistic identity – follow Dean’s personal account of reclaiming his own identity Why Dean doesn’t like the word “label” and why we should call it a diagnosis The negative narrative which surrounds autism and how to positively reframe it How to...

How to Use The Red Beast to Teach Children About Anger with K.I. Al-Ghani

HOW TO USE THE RED BEAST TO TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT ANGER WITH AUTHOR K.I. AL-GHANI Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASDToday I will be interviewing K.I. Al-Ghani. Kay is a lecturer in autism spectrum at the University of Brighton, Autism Transer, Specialist Teacher, Author of multiple books and most importantly, mother of a son wtih autism who will soon be 35! Kay is the author of many books but the one which most of you will know best is “The Red Beast: Controlling Anger in Children with Asperger’s Syndrome”. Kay’s other books help children understand anxiety, disappointment, jealously, ADHD and her most recent book focuses on PDA. All her books are available on my website and below  In my interview with Kay we discuss How Kay was inspired to write by one of her students who had violent rages and they couldn’t find the trigger  How Kay got her son to draw as a method of communication when he was younger and how...

Top 10 Tips to use when Teaching Social Skills to Students with Autism

TOP 10 TIPS FOR TEACHING SOCIAL SKILLS TO STUDENTS WITH AUTISM Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Everyday social interactions are complex and multi-layered. Everyone makes some social mistakes but on the whole we are quick to recognise our errors and act to repair them. However, students with autism are seriously disadvantaged socially as they have great difficulty understanding non-verbal communication, such as facial expression, body language and/or tone of voice. Their literal interpretation of language means that they frequently misunderstand the actual words. I have put together 10 Top Tips to help you when teaching social skills to students with autism Social skills are not easy to teach as they are complex and so much depends on ‘reading’ an individual, and adjusting to the individual situation as it evolves. We often do not realise exactly what is involved in a social skill but we immediately...

Everything You Need to Know About Puberty and Periods with Robyn Steward

PUBERTY: Preparing for Success at Home and School Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite appJoin my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Puberty is part of natural development for all children. Puberty usually 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 understanding is vital. Boys and girls need to know about their changes and changes in the opposite sex too (particularly, if they have opposite sex siblings or are at co-ed schools). It is important to start sharing this information with them before the changes occur otherwise the children may worry that something is wrong with them. I know some parents who talk about the changes before they happen and then as they happen their children tell them and they celebrate! Open, honest and...