As rates of autism rise, parents, teachers, therapists, medical professionals, employers, law enforcement and other professionals need to understand how the underlying trauma endemic to ASD can cause the challenging behaviors often exhibited. Understanding and personalizing these environmental factors that cause these behaviors can assist those caring for individuals with autism.
The Autism Experience is an experiential learning module that replicates the communication and sensory issues of those with autism spectrum disorders. Essentially, participants have the unique opportunity to feel what it is like to have autism.
The Experience is tailored to the audience. This has been done for teachers who go through the experience from the standpoint of a student. It has been done for HR Professionals who experience the training as an employee. It has been done for Law Enforcement who experience autism as though they were a suspect. It has been done for medical professionals who experience autism as a patient. The purpose is to raise understanding and when we personalize a disability, we can then react to it in a much different way.
Simulation exercises deal with sensory issues. The participants experience problems with fine and gross motor skills, visual distortion, auditory distortion and sensory overload as well as communication. The simulation exercises use props to simulate these issues as well as lights, strobes, music and other noises. The participants do activities that would be the norm for their line of work while wearing various items that impact their abilities.
Through these exercises, the participants see what it is like for the person they support. Based upon the their individual experiences and observations, we walk through accommodations and strategies that can be used when working with an individual with autism so that they can more effectively give the level of care needed.