Welcome those with ASD

A special note from our Director

Welcome to you our ASD friends, Repploy and I would like to extend you a very warm welcome; As a wife and mother of individuals diagnosed and living every day with the strengths & challenges that life on the spectrum can bring. I would like to offer you an ear and a hand in your quest for answers and support.
Whether you are recently diagnosed or have been on the spectrum for some time I'm sure like us you still have so many questions. And I am happy to help where we can.
Whether you are searching for:

  • Help,
  • Support
  • Information 
  • Life skills
  • Social skills
  • Mentoring
  • Advocacy
  • Employment
  • Career Identification
  • Employment Environmental support
  • School / Work advocacy
  • Transitions
  • School shadowing
  • ABA Therapist (child and adult)
  • Workshops
  • PD's

We will do our best to help or point you in the right direction.
Feel free to drop us a line and we will go from there.
Talk to you soon

 

Trudy Cahill

Behavioural Strategies and management plans

There are many behavioural strategies widely used to date that encourage individuals to change existing behaviours.
Approaches often include:

  • Environmental modification
  • Routine modification
  • Tactile ignoring of inappropriate behaviours
  • Deference (distraction from said behaviour)
  • Positive reinforcements of wanted behaviours
  • Change of expectations and demands
  • Clear expectations and demands
  • Teaching new skills and strategies
  • Desensitization techniques
  • Peer reaction
  • Time out
  • Medications

Once you have established the strategies which will be most beneficial to the individual it is then time to work them into a plan. It is important to keep in mind that the plan will need to be adjusted to meet all requisitions as well as being modified to meet individual's age and strengths.
Remember we need to establish

  • What is the specific behaviour's to address?
  • What is the current pattern of behaviour?
  • What is the goal for change?
  • What are the steps towards achieving the goal?
  • How will change be recognized and monitored?
  • What approach or combination of approaches is most likely to be effective?

No matter what the age or status of the individual is the key to success is consistency from all supportive networks. Remembering to have support action plans for Consequential and Crisis Management.

Repploy ASD Independent Living Program

Independent-living2Repploy ASD independent living program

The uncertainties of future events can leave many of us in a serious state of panic, whilst so often we have spent the majority of our ASD childhood being supported and shielded from what needed to be done, having our parents and others advocate on our behalf. Then one day we wake up to the seriousness to the future "what ifs"!

A lot of these fears can be dispelled by empowering with the skills, strategies and tools to obtain independent living.
Learning how to achieve the tasks that we take for granted each day.
Some of these may include:

  • Washing
  • Shopping
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Household chores
  • Comparison shopping
  • Transport
  • Individual independence
  • Finding / utilising relevant support networks

Contact Us today to find how our programs can meet your individual needs.

Sensory Demands within the workforce

It is important to determine a match between the communication, sensory, social, and organizational demands of the job and the needs of the individual with ASD.

The match between the demands of the environment and the needs of the individual does not have to be perfect. It is possible to introduce accommodations and instructions that will help create a better fit between the employee with ASD and the employment environment.Many individuals on the spectrum experience sensory processing difficulties of some kind within the workplace some of these may be apparent in the form of:

  • Sight
  • Audio
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Textures

Certain noise, smells or feelings can cause extreme stress on the ASD employee, causing them to have trouble concentrating and coping with the employment environment. For this reason it is important to have a good sensory employment match for the individual or good reflective accommodations and or reasonable workplace adjustments.

By identifying the personal sensory triggers matched against the employment environmental triggers you can ensure that this is a good job match for the individual. It is more beneficial for the person on the spectrum to have a work environment free from unnecessary distractors.

Some of the strategies and solutions to help individual's combat moderate sensory issues are:

  • Modifying the work area by clearing up clutter or adding dividers that block out distractions,
  • Moving the work station to a quieter location,
  • Wearing sunglasses or other tinted glasses,
  • Using head phones or ear plugs,
  • Pairing visual prompts with verbal ones, and
  • Encouraging slow introductions to environments that might be over stimulating.

Repploy ASD Mentoring Program

Mentoring is an enlightening experience of walking the path thats already paved. Many experiences in life can be thoroughly conceived when shown, knowing how to do is more effective than just being told what to do.

The above is a reality of life for many of us with ASD. Society often dictates that as individuals that have grown in to adulthood we are already supposed to have acquired these skills that naturally come with maturity and life lessons of sociably except able behaviours , but for those of us with ASD this isn't always the case.
As we try to navigate these unpredictable experiences of independent living, just having a mentor showing us how, allows us to avoid the many pitfalls life can throw at us. 

Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I'll remember,
Involve me and I learn.

This third party introduction to blending the space between isolation and inclusion allows many ASD individuals to become open to learning whilst experiencing living instruction in daily requirements.

Each program is individually tailored to each person's needs and personal requirements.

Contact Us today to envision your tomorrow.

Behavioural Interventions: PBS and FBA?

PBS (Positive Behaviour Support)

Is a popular behavioural intervention program that supports the implementation of acquiring both social interaction and understanding. Thus allowing for implementation of positive instead of negative behaviours and requests.

This is by far becoming a very accepted and widely used platform for many programs supporting individuals with Aspergers and Autism.

This program is based on the principles that all children (individuals) have the right to be treated with dignity and equal access to educational / (work) opportunities.

Thus implying an understanding that there is a reason behind all behaviours and that we all have the right to seek support to change existing challenging behaviours, as well as understanding why they occur in the original sense.

FBA (Functional Behavioural Assessment)

These are widely used by therapist as a process for identifying contributing emotional, environmental triggers.

Allowing therapist to predict behaviour, through the assessment of problem behaviour description, routine / environmental/ sensory/ predictive occurrences of said behaviour. Inclusive of consequence identification/ maintaining payoff and motivation for behaviour.

The ability to use direct observational data is critical in identifying all aspects leading up to, as well as implementing positive changes to support parents, children, teachers, employers and individuals in structured guidelines for continuing Individualised behavioural support plans.

It is extremely important to help establish the individual’s insight as to why the behaviour occurs in the first place, Inclusive of understanding that said behaviours are not always the way the individual wants to communicate their need or want. Often the behaviour is due to the positive outcome derived from the initial use of said behaviour.

This being said many inappropriate learnt behaviour's (from childhood) can and unfortunately do travel with the individual into their adult life, which society as a whole is far less tolerant of than the childhood experience they used to receive.

Thus why FBA isn't just for use with Children on the spectrum. It is never “too late “to seek or support behavioural change. As we all continue to learn throughout our lives.

Staying Safe

It is so important that as individuals diagnosed with an ASD that we learn from an early age how to say" No" and that it is ok to do so.... So often when others set about teaching us social skills we were taught to co-operate with the "social norms" or what & how to be polite and not rude.

Often this can set us up for harm; instead of dancing around the issues of manners and offensiveness maybe we should be blatantly taught that if it feels wrong no matter what it is its ok to say so. If I walk down a street at night on my own I'm possibly putting myself in a vulnerable situation as I don't normally pay attention to what is going on around me. That friendship and trust isn't somebody saying they will be my friend if I do things or give them money.

That not everyone can be taken on face value and let's face it just because they might be a family member or reputable figure in the community doesn't necessarily mean I'm safe.

The most important skills you can learn is to recognise and make positive decisions and when it is appropriate to safe guard yourself and say "No."

By building the decision making skill you are learning to take responsibility for the choices you make through both positive and negative outcomes, thus allowing you to recognize appropriate and safe decision and protecting yourself from being easy prey.

Interviews

Whether to disclose or not disclose your diagnosis.

The importance of getting the right fit.

Understanding the social requirements of the interview process.

Looking at behavioural industry questions and how to answer those.

Strategies to work on body language, voice definition and facial expression is as important to the successful outcome of an interview as just being able to answer the questions.

Services Include:

  • Mock interviews
  • Both face to face and phone
  • Career servicing
  • What and how
  • Unique home based servicing
  • We can come to you.

Knowing the importance of how and when to stay on track with your answers and knowing what comes next.

Life skills the untold social norm.

We often hear when people talk about Autism Spectrum; about the challenges presented through the lack of social skills, cognitive thinking and pragmatic communication, yet many fail to recognize the enormous challenges that individuals on the spectrum face through daily life skills.

If as parents and carers these skills are not taught step by step or mastered at an early age then the barriers tend to increase for many individuals on the spectrum thus making it more difficult to form successful strategies to support the individual to become the productive, functioning member of society that we all wish for our children to be regardless of NT or ASD.

These barriers for many can seem incomprehensible at times and yet to most of us NT (neuro typical) they are skills that we don't even have to think about to perform, really when actually asked to break tasks down into steps we struggle to do this.

 

By breaking everything down into step by step actions we allow the individual on the spectrum to see the processing thoughts, communication and behavior required to successfully complete the task. Adding to this the opportunities for practice, repitition and to perform trial and error we can form the first stage of supporting individuals on the spectrum.

The second stage of support is then incorporating and teaching the art of " flexible thinking " which then enables the individual on the spectrum to be able to adapt the tools and strategies taught to many different situations.

 

ASD Strengths

Aspergers ,High Functioning Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Individuals on the autism spectrum have many strengths and unique capabilities attached to the diagnosis. These can include:

  • The ability to comprehend multiple levels of meanings and words.
  • Have a great sense of humour.
  • They make very loyal friends.
  • They do not manipulate but rather speak honestly and frankly.
  • They are sincere truth- tellers who due to their sincerity are incapable of bitching or back stabbing others.
  • Have the unique ability to focus on the details and not necessarily the "big picture" which allows them the insight to be a great problem solver, whereas others may overlook the solution.
  • They have advanced vocabularies and are able to recognise patterns others do not.
  • They are not easily swayed away from ideas and or projects they are passionate about but have the determination to follow through.
  • Super intelligent
  • Fabulous memory
  • Smart
  • Actually being different rather than trying to be different
  • Self taught talents
  • Uniqueness
  • Genuine
  • The ability to perceive / see that others miss
  • Loyal
  • Honest
  • Good company
  • Sheer intellectual brilliance
  • Detail orientated
  • Ability to focus all attention on things that matter
  • Quirky sense of humor
  • Creative Able to analyse a problem without the emotion taking over
  • Notice random things that the rest of the wield miss
  • Sees the beauty in areas
  • Childlike wonder and awe at different things situations and Scenarios
  • The ability to survive things that most NT would not

Disclosure: Revealing a Diagnosis

Revealing a diagnosis is a personal choice and to be honest there is no right or wrong answer in doing this.

Many people are concerned about revealing their diagnosis, why? So many people feel that it will go against them that employers won't feel that they are up to the job so to speak.

If you decide to disclose your diagnosis one of the best ways is to do it is in your résumé or cover letter.

Identifying the strengths of an individual diagnosis allows an employer to see the extra benefits that an individual can bring to their employment sphere. It is also a great opportunity to educate employers about a diagnosis and to identify any reasonable adjustments that may be required to enable the employer to get great "value for their money" so to speak.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve the career goal that is right for you.

Many diagnosed with an ASD tend to internalize how they are treated and or accepted by others. This can lead to additional problems and cause major damage to the individual's self-esteem

  • Cause extreme anxiety
  • Depression
  • They may start to regress both socially and intellectually

By teaching children/ teens about the verbal and nonverbal behavior's involved and expected within the social community we are giving them the tools and strategies to combat rejection by other members of society.

Some of the social problems that typically affect those on the spectrum can have implications on forming friendships, use of "small talk" and personal space

For Example
Many aspie children/ teens are considered extremely bright when it comes to topics and areas of interest, but they can be quite gullible when it comes to social behaviour thus making them easy prey to others around them.

Transitions of the ASD Adult

Some of the most critical aspects for many young adults on the spectrum who are transitioning from secondary school into the big wide world called "Life"; Are the lack of social and Life support services that are required to help those individuals on the spectrum to adjust and live fully functioning Independent adult lives.

I have personally found that the resources to support families and individuals diagnosed with an ASD in those early years tends to greatly diminish as the individual approaches early adolescents and really seems to be non-existent by the time they are adults.

In my opinion some of the challenges are not and cannot be met under the current governmental disability services, mainly due to the vast numbers requiring support and the intense level of support that is required; especially under the employment sectors.

In my experience by the time many individuals on the spectrum reaching the ages of 14 years upwards can be struggling with the social, practical aspects of secondary school;

 

Now depending on the school, the teachers involved it can and is suggested to many that attend main stream school may not be an appropriate fit for them, or by the time they are 16 years and heading into approximately year 10 of the scholastic system, it has been suggested on occasion that maybe "it would be best to remove the student from school as they are not coping".

Yet nobody seems to be able to advise where or what they should be doing instead!

What options are out there for the unskilled individuals who are struggling with the work, expectations, social impacts of secondary school, who are already lacking the supports they require? There arn't many that are free that's for sure, so these individuals start to slip through the cracks and fall into the cycle of "unemployment" with all those additional extras that comes with it.

Now looking on the other side of the coin....

Those on the spectrum who have survived and thrived in the academic sphere; face many challenges of their own.

For example you may have an Individual who has achieved certification and or higher education in their specific field of interest, who are then put through the "job hunting" employment process without the " social, life and diagnostic" support services. These services are required for positive corresponding employment opportunities and or positions that reflect, utilise an individual's true potential, skill, passion and supportive credentials.

Bridging these gaps and supporting those transitional steps are the "best tools" to assist individuals on the spectrum in overcoming these challenges.

How to address the selection criteria

Selection CriteriaThe selection criteria for a position are basically made up of two components; that the employers are looking to address the Key (essential) and Desirable skills, attributes, qualifications and experience preferred for a particular role.

The company weigh and measure these on an individual basis of relevance and importance to a potential candidate's successful outcome within the role performance.

By using this format the selection criteria is critical for measuring individual candidates against each other as well as the strength of the application, allowing the recruitment process to eliminate the risk of losing out on the best candidate due to personal or social prejudice.

The selection criteria or at least part of is usually listed in the advertisement of the position.

The importance of a social mentor

What is a social mentor I hear you ask ? Why do you need one ?

Repploy are helping individuals on the Autism spectrum to navigate and unpack the mysteries surrounding the " social norms"

By utilizing guided participation and interaction allows the individual to recognize, understand and learn the tools required to anticipate social, life scenarios and situations.
Through providing that " third party " experience we have discovered that most asd individuals respond and embrace the thousands of learning experiences they have previously with drawn from.

By incorporating guided participation with the art of flexible thinking allows the individual to experience " a learn as you go" method, whilst establishing workable processes to achieve and accomplish in everyday life situations and scenarios.

Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I'll remember,
Involve me and I learn.

 

Personal Tags

Personal Tags / Resources

Individualised Coping Cards

  •  Stress/ anxiety
  •  Transition/ change
  •  School work requirements
  •  Timetables

Individual Diagnosis Cards

  •  Contact and Brief
  •  I need Help!!
  •  Feelings Chart
  •  Where does it hurt
  •  What do I feel today
  •  Social Stories
  •  Education Tools
  •  Class room communication cards
  •  Class room check lists
  •  Transition Identification Forms
  •  Behavioural progression/ change forms.

Personalised Checklist

  •  Hygiene / showering
  •  Bed time routine
  •  Getting ready for school
  •  Growing independence
  •  Sharing with others?
  •  Interview checklist

On the Spectrum