Weekly Bulletin 6th December 2018

Weekly Bulletin 6th December 2018

Welcome to our Minds & Hearts Bulletin!

In This Issue:

Weekly Article

2019 Attwood & Garnett Events

2019 Groups

Community News

Opportunities for Assist with Research

Weekly Article

Generalisation of social skills in the real world

by Sonya Blandford

Social skills can be described as initiating and reciprocating interactions, understanding non-verbal communication and managing anxiety associated with social interactions.   Social skill deficits that have not been addressed can have a long term negative impact on a child’s life including difficulties around employment, maintaining friendships and mental health.   Social skills development is a frequently implemented intervention for children with ASD.   Breaking a social skill into small steps and emphasising cues to use the skill is helpful for children experiencing difficulties in this area.  

Please click here for the full article

2019 Attwood & Garnett Events

Presented by Professor Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett

Girls and Women with ASD

Newcastle, New South Wales: Friday 15th February, 2019

Sydney, New South Wales: Saturday 15th June, 2019

Melbourne, Victoria: Saturday 19th October, 2019

* This presentation will focus on the unique presentation of girls and women on the autism spectrum

* Increase awareness and knowledge of the female presentation

* Share strategies and ideas found to be useful in clinical practice

* How to recognize the signs of AS in girls and women

* Discuss key areas of difficulty commonly reported by females with AS including self-understanding, adolescent issues, relationships and expressing and managing emotions

* Tony and Michelle will provide ideas and strategies that can maximize the possibility of successful outcomes for girls and women on the autism spectrum 

Emotion Management for Children and Teens with ASD

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Friday 15th March, 2019

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales: Friday 13th September, 2019

Cairns, Queensland: Friday 15th November, 2019

* Why children and adolescents with ASD/Asperger’s syndrome have difficulties expressing and managing emotions

* How high levels of anxiety affect behaviour and learning

* Affective education to learn about emotions at home and school

* Managing anxiety, anger and depression

Challenging Behaviour in Classic Autism

Gold Coast, Queensland: Friday 28th August, 2019

* Strategies to develop communication skills for those who have limited speech

* The learning profile associated with classic autism and strategies to encourage the acquisition of academic and daily living skills

* The effects of social experiences and facilitating social engagement

* The sensory profile of ASD and how to accommodate sensory sensitivity

* The signs of increasing anxiety, anger or despair and how to manage and moderate emotional reactions.

Master Class: Children and Teens with ASD

Sydney, New South Wales: Thursday 13th & Friday 14th June, 2019

Melbourne, Victoria: Thursday 17th & Friday 18th October, 2019

A 2-day presentation for health and educational professionals

The first day will focus on diagnosis

* Pathways to a diagnosis

* Issues in the Child & Adolescent Diagnostic Assessment

* Screening questionnaires

* DSM-V and assessing each criteria

* Co-morbidity and differential diagnosis

* Explaining the diagnosis and reaction to the diagnosis

* Prognosis

The second day will focus on the treatment of adults with ASD/Asperger’s syndrome:

* Anxiety reduction strategies

* CBT for depression in adolescents

* Managing challenging behaviours

* Fostering expression of affection and friendships

* Professional challenges in the field

2019 Groups

Cognitive Behaviour Drama

6-8 year old males

Cognitive Behaviour Drama (CBD) provides a new and engaging platform to explore and practice the rules of social interaction, and develop competencies associated with communicative success. Children in the group participate in exciting fictional scenarios which encourage them to seek solutions to numerous problems that will lead them to an understanding of causal relationships (i.e., how a different course of action or behavior may affect the outcome of an interaction). They may be embarking on an adventure as the crew of a pirate ship, or explorers on the hunt for lost treasure – the theme emerges based on the needs and interests of the children in the group, with the story developing and unfolding over the duration of the program.

Please click here for more information and how to register

Exploring Worry and Calming it Down

8-12 year old females

Anxiety is commonly associated with ASD particularly in young people and may amplify the expression of some of the autism symptoms. This programme is designed for young girls on the autism spectrum. It aims to provide an understanding of what is a worry and help the girls learn a few tools to improve their ability to cope and manage their anxious feelings and promote resilience.  

Please click here for more information and how to register

Moving to Manhood

The Moving to Manhood Group is currently full but please contact us at the clinic for your child to be placed on the cancellation waiting list.

14-17 year old males

Adolescent boys on the autism spectrum can struggle with the transition to manhood. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) brings challenges that can make this transition extremely difficult. In our years of experience with ASD we have learned that, for many, answers to the question: “Who am I?” are elusive, and yet these answers can provide the pathway to a satisfying and fulfilling life. We have devised a programme that assists males aged 14-17 years old to discover who they are and to provide advice on a range of issues raised by the participants and parents.  Previous topics have included becoming independent, employment abilities, managing emotions and romantic relationships. 

Please click here for more information and how to register       

Fun with Feelings Intensive Group

4-6 year old girls

The program is designed for girls who have an autism spectrum disorder and who experience difficulties with managing their anxiety. The program comprises of two groups that run parallel to each other, one for parents and one for girls. The aim of each group is to help the children to recognise, label, and manage their anxiety. The program was created by members of the Minds & Hearts team. Research studies examining this programme were published in the peer reviewed journals Early Child Development and Care and Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy.  

Please click here for more information and how to register       

Building Resilience

14-17 year old females

In recent survey studies, results have indicated that cruel bullying and teasing affects twice as many on the autism spectrum as neurotypical children. Despite many efforts by schools to stop the problem, children are still suffering at the hands of bullies. Intervention needs to occur at community, school administration, teaching, peer and individual levels. This group program has been designed to intervene at the individual level by teaching participants about the psychology behind bullying, strategies to stop the bullying, and tools to deal with the adverse affects such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. The primary aim of this group is to build resilience to equip each participant to succeed despite adversity. 

Please click here for more information and how to register

Community News  

We wanted to let you know about the Thriving Now programme that one of our Minds and Hearts psychologists are running in early February. Thriving Now is a work readiness programme for adults on the autism spectrum. Please click here for more details and how to register. 

Opportunities to Assist with Research

Questionnaire Study for Adults with Autism and Neurotypical Controls

Researchers at UNSW Australia and Autism CRC are seeking volunteer research participants to learn about life in adulthood for people with Autism. They are looking for Australian autistic adults 25 years and older, informal carers/support people for Autstralian autistic adults 25 years and older, and non-autistic adults 25 years and older. To find our more about this research please click here.