Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Gerry Costa, Director, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University. Dr. Costa was a guest on EdLine Canada, the open line education show I co-host with Stephen Hurley on VoicEd Radio each Sunday afternoon.
Rather than using a behaviour modification approach, Dr. Costa sees the behaviours demonstrated by children with Austism Spectrum Disorder as symptomatic of a neurobiological condition, and our work as educators needs to address the underlying stress systems and neurosensitivities in children as opposed to being solely focused on the behaviours we observe.
As professionals, we need to build our competencies in three areas:
- Our ways of knowing (what we understand about autism and children with ASD),
- Our ways of doing (strategies for co-regulation with our children) and most importantly,
- Our ways of being (how our behaviours create a warm and engaging safe place for children).
This podcast is an excellent learning opportunity for educators. Why not listen while driving, raking, sweeping or walking this week?