Meet Jack - Faces of Neurodiversity April 30, 2017 00:00
Meet Harper - Faces of Neurodiversity April 28, 2017 00:00
Meet Kade - Faces of Neurodiversity April 27, 2017 00:00
Kade is 14 years old. He is in Year 8 at a mainstream school. Kade was born with a severe hearing impairment in both ears and was then diagnosed with Autism at 3 years old. Kade loves to perform. He loves to sing and dance and is never afraid to get up in front of a crowd. Kade also loves bubbles. Kade has been a part of the clubhouse for about 12 months. We wish we had discovered the Clubhouse sooner.
Meet Hailey - Faces of Neurodiversity April 26, 2017 00:00
Meet Charlotte - Faces of Neurodiversity April 25, 2017 00:00
Meet Charlotte, She's 5 years old and is in Prep in mainstream school. She was diagnosed at 4 years old with Autism. Charlotte has been attending the Clubhouse for over a year. She loves drawing and animals.
Meet Tarkyn - Faces of Neurodiversity April 25, 2017 00:00
Meet Harrison - Faces of Neurodiversity April 24, 2017 00:00
Meet Harrison, Hes 3 years old and is in 3yo mainstream Kindergarten. He was diagnosed at 2 years old with Autism. Harrison has been attending the Clubhouse for over a year. He loves riding his bike and transport toys.
Meet Tai - Faces of Neurodiversity April 24, 2017 00:00 1 Comment
Meet Justine - Faces of Neurodiversity April 23, 2017 00:00
Meet Justine. Justine is in the process of seeking a formal diagnosis following the diagnosis of her son and daughter. Justine enjoys walking, reading, cooking, gardening and taking care of her pets.
Meet Jack - Faces of Neurodiversity April 22, 2017 00:00
Meet Jack. Jack was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 5. Today Jack is turning 10 this month and will officially begin his journey as a Pokemon Trainer. When he's not watching or playing Pokemon, Jack loves playing with friends, learning to cook, playing Minecraft and a good game of cricket.
Meet Jaye - Faces of Neurodiversity April 21, 2017 00:00
Meet Alexander - Faces of Neurodiversity April 20, 2017 00:00
Expected and Unexpected .......... April 19, 2017 00:00
As a youngster it took us quite a while to work out the triggers to behavious/reactions, but being the super sleuth that I am we always worked it out eventually!
Often when hubby would get home from work Miss E would not respond. No running to the door and yelling "daddy, daddy, yay you're home". Instead she would retreat and go to her room, coming out eventually when she was ready. As you can imagine this is not a nice feeling for daddy who's spent several hours away and is happy to be home. Terminology in our house that you will often hear is "expected/unexpected" which we use in relation to situations that she doesn't naturally know how to read/react. So we would always follow these episodes with "Remember it's expected that Daddy wants you to say hello when he gets home because he hasn't seen you all day"... the need for continual reminding of this became annoying to us all! Then we had a shining light moment and realised the "why"!
She likes life to be predictable. She needs routine and structure to help her brain function in this world that operates very differently to her own instinct. Daddy doesn't have a regular schedule. He is home at different times everyday. To her this was too unpredictable. Our system now is that daddy will always ring when he's on his way home and I can let the kids know "daddy will be home in 5 minutes". This also worked during the preschool years when daddy came home for lunch. So long as he rang before arriving.. even if he was at the top of the street... the fact was that because she knew what to expect she embraced it. Daddy gets the warm greeting he expects and she gets the structure she needs to process his arrival.
Another stumbling block to this pattern is also when visitors arrive that we may not have seen for some time. People change.. they grow beards, they change their hair colour, they change their glasses etc. It was very normal for her to initially run into her room on the arrival of visitors we hadn't seen for a while as her expectation of what she was going to see was different. She remembers every single detail of what they looked like last time and now that has changed !:O Thinking caps on again and daddy came up with the awesome idea for our visitors to send us a selfie via text message when they were on their way for dinner one night. This way she knew exactly what to expect and embraced the greeting well and it was comfortable for us all. It worked! She instantly greeted the visitors and we didn't see the retreat anymore.
The big thing I've learnt as a mum to a kid with additional needs is to never take a reaction personally. She's not running to her bedroom because she doesn't like that person... she just needed time to process why that person now suddenly looks hairy all over their face. A difference that we take in our stride, but she takes a while to process. Given time she always comes out and within minutes she's affectionate and chatty and having a great time... but every time there is change her brain reaction is doubt!
As an 8 year old she is now very aware that change is her stumbling block and it presents in several different ways, some we expect and some that catch us off guard. The difference now is that because she understands her diagnosis and understands her challenges she is also determined to overcome them! We can talk about it, process it and come up with strategies together to make those challenges easier.
Donna - Committee Member
Meet Sebastian - Faces of Neurodiversity April 19, 2017 00:00
Meet Imogen - Faces of Neurodiversity April 18, 2017 00:00
Meet Imogen who is 5.5 and in prep at a mainstream school. Diagnosed with SPD at 3 and ASD & ADD at 4. Imogen has been
Meet Oliver - Faces of Neurodiversity April 17, 2017 00:00
Meet Mel - Faces of Neurodiversity April 15, 2017 00:00
Sensory/ Self Regulation April 13, 2017 00:00
A new phrase I've learnt about over the past few years is "sensory/self regulation" It means the success for us to understand patterns of behaviours which all relate to the heightened or lowered state of ones senses. It presents differently for every person.
As a toddler whenever we were at the shops Miss E would be sucking on the safety strap of the stroller or the handle of the trolley. At the time I considered it gross and such a bad way to get yucky germs in her mouth and I was always making her stop it, sometimes getting totally frustrated at her constantly not listening to me and doing it anyway. My old brain thought "why is she deliberately disobeying me!" This is often the thing I talk about when reminiscing about the tell tale signs during toddler hood that we totally missed because we didn't understand. By chewing or sucking things while at the shops she was self regulating. She hated being at the shops because it's noisy, has bright lights, different smells of people and smells within the shops (candle places no thanks! even kids shops like smiggle are so smelly) and it is a place that is totally unpredictable. My ASD knowledgeable brain now says "if only I had let her suck/chew she would never have continually run away!". She always ran away at the shops and the only way I knew to stop her was with the kiddy backpack with the lead so I could try and keep her safe. We also had the rule that when out of anything that strapped you in you always held a grown ups hand.
You see for kids with Autism their senses are heightened. What we can brush off as a stinky smell and move on may make them physically sick. What we dismiss as a loud bang, can make them run to escape or cry uncontrollably because the pain is so intense in their ears. What we may find ticklish they feel as knives being dug into their skin. Our senses effect us all day long in many, many ways and these kids often have super senses and may seek or avoid sensory input and these will present differently in each person.
Most of Miss E’s erratic behaviours in toddler hood were actually her being in flight/fight response from sensory overload. They were never naughty and were never fixed with "time out"... despite the millions of books I read about the success of time out, 123 magic.. etc in books aimed at parents, nothing ever worked. The reality is that until she learnt to self regulate those behaviours they were never able to be managed. What I now know, which has made me a better parent, is that behaviour is never naughty or inconvenient to me as a grown up. It is the child trying to communicate to me that there is a problem and in some instances what we may see as wrong/naughty/unhygenic is them trying to self regulate; sucking on clothing/fingers, running away, constantly moving (spinning, crashing, dancing), blocking ears/nose and so many more!
Smell is a big sensory problem for Miss E and she happily admits that she has the best sense of smell on Earth! She can smell something strong from a mile away... as an older kid she now knows to just block her nose, or in some instances we avoid places all together (seafood shop.. no way!). If you walk down the laundry aisle and pet food aisle of the supermarket with her she will be blocking her nose exclaiming at how bad the smell is. It's not something to laugh at, it's her self regulating. If you wear a super strong perfume or use a strong scented laundry powder/fabric softener she probably won’t hug you. Not because she doesn't like you, but because she finds your scent too overpowering. She will approach you later though, once she has desensitised from the initial overpowering smell.
Donna - Committee Member
Meet Damion - Faces of Neurodiversity April 13, 2017 00:00
Meet Holly - Faces of Neurodiversity April 12, 2017 00:00
Holly was born in England but moved to Australia when she was three for better support services.
Holly's Mum and Dad are also on the Autism Spectrum.
Holly loves animals and exploring.
Meet LJ - Faces of Neurodiversity April 11, 2017 00:00
Faces of a Neurodiversity
Meet LJ, he's 8 years old and is in Grade 2 in mainstream school. He was diagnosed at 4 years old with Autism & Adhd. LJ has been attending the Clubhouse for 3 years. LJ loves Basketball and Pokemon.
Meet Erica - Faces of Neurodiversity April 10, 2017 00:00
Meet Erica, she's 8 years old and is in Grade 3 in mainstream school. She was diagnosed at 4 years old with Aspergers. Erica has been attending the Clubhouse for 2 years. Erica loves dancing, school and reading and writing. "I love Clubhouse because I get to be part of it and the best part of having Aspergers is that I'm really smart and remember lots of things!"
Meet Josiah - Faces of Neurodiversity April 9, 2017 00:00
Meet Joanne - Faces of Neurodiversity April 8, 2017 07:49
Trained teacher. She has worked in child protection, family support, community development and children's services.
Loves live comedy, film and TV and drumming.
Meet James - Faces of Neurodiversity April 7, 2017 00:00
Meet A - Faces of Neurodiversity April 6, 2017 00:00
Meet Alden - Faces of Neurodiverity April 5, 2017 00:00
Meet Lauren - Faces of Neurodiversity April 4, 2017 00:00
Lauren has made a habit of proving a good many people wrong!
Lauren was told she would fail Grade Prep only to successfully complete VCE (unscored) in 2016.
Regarding the idea that Lauren learn piano, the professionals did not even try to disguise their laughter. But Lauren has had the last laugh as she has gone on to complete AMEB Classical Piano exams (Preliminary, Grade 1, 2, 3 and 4). She will sit her Grade 5 AMEB Piano exam later this year.
With such wonderful progress in Piano it made sense to study Music Theory. Yet again the voices of the doubters were loud....."Why would you do this to Lauren?....she will only fail the exam". These voices were silenced when Lauren scored 96% for Grade 1 Theory and 93% for Grade 2 Theory! In anyone's books that is not even close to failing!!!!
Then there was the "telling off" we got by a well meaning horse riding coach who said Lauren just didn't have the ability to compete in dressage. Lauren is proud to report that she did not listen and instead has gone on to compete in RDA State and National Dressage Championships. (see photo)
But the highlight of all Lauren's successes comes in the form of plastic bricks.....her beloved LEGO. To say Lauren is obsessed with LEGO is a bit of an understatement. Rather than try to curb the obsession, it has been used as a vehicle to develop Lauren's skills and competencies in more ways than can possibly be explained. Lauren has been attending Brick Club for about 7 years and her building skills have developed so much that she is now a regular exhibitor at Inside the Brick Expos, Brickvention and at interstate expos! (see photo of Lauren with her build The Louve....lit up in blue for Autism).
But the most awesome thing of all is that Lauren works one day a week under the supported wage scheme sorting LEGO at Inside the Brick. It is the dream job for LEGO obsessed Lauren! As you will see in the photo, her smile on the job says it all! Her boss Rob says she is the best worker ever. She is 100% accurate, she doesn't stop to talk or check her facebook page, she never takes a day off work (because she loves it so much), she is 100% reliable and so much more!
Lauren's LEGO building skills have improved so much that (together with her mother Dianne) have recently even put one of their collaborative builds on LEGO Ideas. The build combines Lauren's love of LEGO with her piano skills. Check it out at https://ideas.lego.com/projects/169730
Meet Heath - Faces of Neurodiveristy April 3, 2017 00:00
Meet Tia - Faces of Neurodiversity April 2, 2017 00:00
Meet Tia, she's 9 years old and is in Grade 3 at a special Autism school. She was diagnosed at 2.5 years old. Tia has been attending the Clubhouse for 1 year. Tia loves Peppa Pig and Hi-5.