Young children with Autism are typically seen as having poor engagement and eye contact, and are not interactive or socially motivated. However, studies indicate that the misnomer “children with Autism do not want to play with us” is a misplaced notion, and can be dispelled with adequate and quality interpersonal engagement in early childhood settings.
They will highlight the obstacles faced when engaging with a young child with Autism; and how engagement must be viewed as more than the observations of behaviours, but as a shared activity where it is the responsibility of the adult to change and meet the child where they are. Tanya and Jo will also illustrate how Way to Play helps build simple strategies of pattern, memory and variation that involve joy, shared eye contact; and the meeting of minds and hearts that lead to a beautiful relationship.
About the speakers
Tanya Elizabeth Catterall: National Educator for Autism New Zealand
Tanya is a registered EarlyBird Trainer (National Autistic Society – UK) and “Train the trainer”. She is contracted by the Ministry of Education to educate, model and work alongside Early Childhood Teachers, Early Intervention Teachers and Speech Language Therapists.
Joanne Marie Charman: National Educator for Autism New Zealand
Her work in schools and early childcare settings is focused on coaching and promoting the importance of quality engagement and learning through play. She is committed to helping persons who work and live with individuals with Autism adapt their communication and understanding; to provide an inclusive environment for the neurodiverse community.
About Autism New Zealand
Tanya and Jo will deliver their keynote address entitled “The Importance of Quality Interpersonal Engagement in Young Children with Autism” and workshop “Joyous play – the key to engaging young children with Autism” at the #initfortherightreason Symposium on Special Education: Diversity and Inclusion which will be held on 15-16 June 2019.