You’re in for a super practical podcast today! I chat with Tarryn an Occupational Therapist and Renee a Speech Pathologist, who developed the online resource store ‘My Diffability Australia’. Tarryn and Renee teamed up to develop the online store as a direct result of working with families and recognising that many stores were selling products which were overpriced, placing them out of reach of children and families in need.
Tarryn and Renee discuss a range of resources which may support children with; anxiety, difficulties with self-regulation, speech or language delay, sensory challenges and those who do not cope well with transitions. They also share their most popular items to help children on the autism spectrum! If you are uncertain on which products may best help your child, tune in! This podcast is sure to point you in the right direction.
5 Rapid-Fire Questions
1. What is one habit parents can implement today?
Renee: Structuring routine. Trying to have as much structure and predictability throughout the day and try to represent that visually as well.
Tarryn: Ask direct questions or give direct instructions to your child. For example: replace “can you sit down?” with “sit down”. Don’t feel like you are being mean, you are actually helping them.
2. What do people never ask you that you wish they did?
Tarryn: I would prefer that parents told me if a therapy intervention is not working rather than pretending that it is just to please me. I would really like them to say “we have tried this and I don’t think it’s going well” rather than “oh yeah it’s going well”.
Renee: I agree with that!
3. What book would you recommend all parents read?
The Beginners Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders by Paul G. Taylor (Paediatrician).
We saw Paul at a New Zealand autism conference and he was so practical and down to earth. We really like to way he talked about autism. He gave the idea of talking about it as different operating systems. For example, you have an iOS Mac system and or a PC system. They are both good but operate differently. They do the same things but do some things differently as well. So, it is a really good book for parents who are getting their head around the diagnosis or trying to explain the diagnosis to their teacher or needing to disclose the condition to schools, or even talking about it to their own children about their diagnosis.
Bonus – it’s not a lengthy book and is a simple reference.
4. What is one of your top 3 unfinished bucket list items?
Both: We would like to run a conference or expo where we could bring together people we have met throughout our careers that we think would be great speakers.
5. If you could only offer one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?
Tarryn: Give your child time to process questions before you ask them again. We do the ‘count to 10 in your head rule’. If you give them an instruction or ask them a question, count to 10 before you ask them again. There is so much information coming at these kids, they need time to process.
Renee: Make sure they think about how they are looking after themselves and what supports are in place for their own wellbeing. We know that a lot of parents with kids with ASD have their own issues at some point along the way and a lot of high stress in that group. I think it is really important for parents that they do not neglect their own wellbeing. Either a coffee with a friend, linking with a support group or even consider speaking with a psychologist just to talk through how their experience has been having a child with a diagnosis. I think it is really important they consider their own needs as well as their kid’s needs.
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So….until next fortnight, I encourage you to open your mind, respect the differences and above all believe that YOU can make a difference from homebase!
With love and hope,
*You should always seek a health practitioner’s advice before starting any new health practice.