Target Audience: All administrators, educational assistants, guidance counsellors, instructional leaders, pre-service teachers, support staff and teachers are encouraged to attend
Recent reports state that 1 in 36 persons are Autistic, and 15-20% of the population is neurodiverse. The reported statistics are likely to be lower than the reality and not representative of the actual rates. The experience of students in the Alberta school system has significant impact on their future engagement in post-secondary education, employment and ability to live independently. Therefore, Alberta education professionals should be appropriately equipped with knowledge, supports, and strategies to support all students.
The Sinneave Family Foundation is an operating foundation based in Calgary, Alberta that aims to improve education, employment and housing outcomes for Autistic youth and adults.
Session One: Autism in the Classroom
“If you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism” – Dr. Stephen Shore.
Session attendees will gain a better general understanding of Autism and neurodiversity through a neuro-affirming, strengths-based lens. We will provide fast facts about Autism and neurodiversity, and discuss how these differences can show up in educational environments like the classroom. This foundational information will then guide us into discussing some key realistic and attainable strategies that support all students.
Session Two: The Iceberg of Autism and Neurodiversity
Did you know that Autistics have a higher prevalence of co-occurring medical conditions and mental health challenges than their non-Autistic peers? Session attendees will strengthen their existing knowledge of Autistic and neurodiverse students by learning about conditions that can accompany Autism and their potential effect in the classroom environment. This information will lead to a discussion about the line between teaching and treatment, along with proven strategies that meet the wellbeing needs of all students and ensure learning-readiness.
Recommended (not mandatory) pre-requisite: Session One: Autism in the Classroom
Session Three: Autism: Spotlight on Potential
In the final session, we put the spotlight on the incredible potential of Autistic and neurodiverse students when they are in learning environments that highlight their strengths, support their engagement and set them up for success. By fostering an educational setting that highlights ability over deficit, all students can thrive and go on to realize their full potential as they transition out of school.
Recommended (not mandatory) pre-requisite: Session One: Autism in the Classroom & Session Two: The Iceberg of Autism and Neuro