Reframing Autism: perspectives and strategies for supporting neurodivergent students
March 1 – 31, 2020
The word epidemic is often used to describe the sharp increase in autism diagnoses in the U.S. The use of this term is indicative of how autism is commonly seen: a medical condition to be feared, prevented, treated and cured. The concept of neurodiversity, which is at the heart of Landmark College's approach, requires re-framing autism as a different (not lesser) way of seeing and navigating the world. In this online workshop, we will use the voices of autistic self-advocates and Landmark College’s programs for autistic students as our guide to understanding autism from this perspective.
Watch the video below to get a feel for the topics discussed in this online workshop
- What does it mean to be autistic? Listening closely to the voices of autistic self-advocates (ASAs) will provide us with an expert answer to this question. We will contrast the medical model of autism with the views of ASAs and in the process explore how stigma and misconceptions of autism impact the development of a positive sense of self. Additional topics will include:
- Disabling environments and the social model of disability.
- Camouflaging and its impact on autistic students.
- Dual-empathy and the importance of understanding and accepting the differences associated with autism.
- Diversity “on the spectrum.” You may have heard the tremendous diversity associated with autism described by Dr. Stephen Shore: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” This can present a significant challenge in supporting autistic students, especially because there is not one way to support a group this diverse. In our experience, providing high-quality supports requires understanding the unique profile of each student. Through personal accounts, case studies and research findings we you will learn how to identify the individual strengths and challenges in seven key areas:
- Pragmatic language
- Social awareness
- Monotropic mindset
- Information processing
- Sensory integration
- Repetitive behaviors
- Neuromotor differences
- Designing, adapting or applying supports. Finally we will apply what we have learned about profiles of strengths and challenges to a case study exercise. You will identify a student profile and an “environment.” This could be a particular classroom, a dormitory, an office on campus or any other environment that you would like to examine. You will be guided through the process of imagining what supports or changes to the environment might be needed to help that particular student succeed. Through this collaborative and personalized process, we will explore a wide variety of supports across environments that participants can apply to their work with students.
The cost of registration is $250. Once you have registered you will receive an email on February 26 with all the information you need to access Canvas and other important details about the workshop.
Contact us at landmark.edu or 802-387-1662