Please answer the following questions; The two questions are separate. Do not link them together.

1. How can you prepare personnel and community members for interaction with individuals with developmental disabilities/autism spectrum disorders? Give three specific examples.

Respond to students discussion:

(HAL) When discussing interactions with individuals who have developmental disabilities/ autism spectrum disorders you can begin by preparing the community to keep an open mind and treat each individual with respect.

As a professional, we can hold educational classes on what to be aware of when working with individuals with ASD. Now days, there is a higher chance that you could be working with an individual who has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder/autism spectrum disorder.

In addition to holding these educational classes for the community, we can make sensory sensitivities know by having these individuals view situations, such as walking down the street, from a student who has an ASD’s perspective. In addition, holding community events that are tailored to those with a diagnosis could be beneficial. Not only will it bring the populations together, but it can give those who are uncomfortable a chance to interact and have a positive experience with these individuals.

I have been in situations where typical peers have encountered negative reactions and not given another chance to those who are deserving. It is important to be patient, stay positive, and be respectful. Educating the community is critical to the success of these individuals. Throughout schooling they are taught and hopefully successful in becoming a part of the community by learning social skills and participating in community based learning. It is the right thing to do by making sure these individuals are welcome and feel safe.

(sara) Understanding the needs of individuals with ASD is crucial, especially as the prevalence rate continues to increase. Preparing personnel and community members can be done in many ways. In my personal experience I have done the following;

Information sessions: Every year during our kick off week I ask my principal for a short session to do with staff. In my session I talk about my classroom (Self contained) what we do with in the classroom and how staff can include us. I give a break down of ASD characteristics, including behavior and what to do and how to help me if a behavior occurs. I also share multiple activities that can support inclusion of my students with in their classroom activities. I allow for staff to ask me questions and share ideas. Before doing these sessions the inclusion in my school was limited to our peer helpers in gym. After starting my sessions we were included in so many activities through out the school. I think this is an example of just a lack of knowledge and needing the information to get started.

Inclusive Peer Activities: I have always hosted peer clubs in my schools. I have used Best Buddies and Unified Champions through Special Olympics. These clubs promote positive peer relationships between my students and their non disabled peers. The clubs have requirements to complete activities with their buddy in the school environment and in the community. The clubs were also responsible for holding rallies such as Spread the Word to End the Word. These clubs built relationships and bonds that last years. This is beneficial with in the community as my students would have members of the community that knew them well, knew their needs, and their abilities.

Community Outings:The best way my community has come to know my students is through community outings. Before each outing I reach out to the place of business and let them know our intentions of visiting and if we will need anything from them. I always share basic information about my students and the importance of our outing. I have never had a bad experience, the community has always been incredibly inclusive and responsive to my students needs. I think the “worst” thing that has happened is going into a fast food restaurant and the employees having my students jump the line to the front. I always politely decline and explain that waiting is good for my students.

I think there are so many great ways to positively support school staff and community members. Finding what works best for your community is essential for increasing the development of knowledge of individuals with ASD.

(kell) I could prepare personnel and community members for interaction with individuals with developmental disabilities/autism spectrum disorders by doing several things.

Assuming that I was the teacher (or if the student were on my caseload), I would prep the teachers (all staff) that would have interactions with the student. I would want them to know specific details about the student’s behavior (so that they know what to expect). I would also make sure to share the students interests and strengths, so that teachers could build off of that.

I would also provide staff (staff meetings) with information about developmental disabilities/asd to better prepare them for providing an inclusive classroom setting. Depending on what my position is at the time, I would include/invite all specialists that could contribute to the topic.

I would also research local resources and support to share with personnel and community members to ensure that they are aware of the supports/tools available.

If I were a high school teacher or specialist, I would help prepare the community members by reaching out to local businesses to create meaningful transition programs that get students with disabilities out into the community.

These are all things that I hope to be able to do. Of course, a lot depends on my position at the time. Ideally, I would love to be an Autism Specialist.

2. Why is it important to collaborate with families and other team members in nonjudgmental ways to make informed decisions about interventions and life planning? How will you remain nonjudgmental?

(Ke) It is important to collaborate with families and other team members in a nonjudgmental way because it will help bring people of diverse expertise and roles together for the purpose of generating creative and novel solutions to mutually define problems or questions regarding the student. Remaining nonjudgemental will help with the collaboration, program planning, and problem solving process (Ruble, Dalrymple, and McGrew, 2012). I will remain judgmental by understanding the child’s disability, being empathetic, trying to strengthen relationships with families (and staff), and work collaborative for the benefit of the child.

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