Out with the old,

in with the neurodiversity affirming!

by Adina Levy

In my podcast episode ‘Old way/New way – Upgrading to Neurodiversity Affirming Strategies for Autistic Children‘, I shared 3 of the biggest changes that I had to make, and that so many other therapists are making, to shift from behavioural, turning-autistic-kids-neurotypical approaches towards Neurodiversity Affirming approaches.⁠

We’re comparing the ‘Old Way’ which I WISH would stick in the past (though maybe I’m being too hopeful calling it that) into the ‘New Way’ – while acknowledging that these ideas aren’t necessarily all that new – maybe you’ve been using these affirming strategies for a very long time, which is just awesome!⁠

OLD WAY: First do the boring ‘work’ task, then do the fun activity⁠

NEW WAY: Use intrinsic motivation: Ensure that the ‘main’ activity is motivating for the child⁠

OLD WAY: Intrude – Insert yourself into the child’s play when they’re playing solo⁠

NEW WAY: Join in with the child… Sometimes. Let them play solo sometimes. Honour their sensory & social capacity⁠

OLD WAY: Shape an Autistic child’s play to look more ‘normal’…⁠ More like neurotypical children’s play⁠

NEW WAY: Honour & enjoy the child’s individual way of playing. And sometimes add small new ideas as an offer, with no pressure

    For Speech Therapists – Check out my course Affirming Communication for Autistic Children to learn more!

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