Autism Resource blog:

Parent Support University: Q&A

Mar 18, 2020
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Speaker 1 (00:00):

So that probably explains why my phone was kind of blowing up and I was not. Alright. Adam Dreyfus here. Chief science officer for AnswersNow I am on the AnswersNow website. I just did this exact same thing on apologies to everybody. who, signed up. I know this has kinda probably thrown everybody off. Huge technical difficulty, on my here we are, on a nice Wednesday night, but seven 15. I'm here to answer questions that you have. I'm just going to push everything back a little bit. Going to talk to you about what you can do to kind of entertain your kids, your children, while you were in lockdown for the next several months. This is a unique situation.we are also going to be moving from here over to one of our new communities.

Speaker 1 (00:50):

Our communities are like, imagine like little Facebook groups or Reddit groups.they're free, they're open to parents. We've got all kinds of topics that we cover.communication assessments, behavioral stuff, new diagnoses.and so I'm going to be stepping over there, in a little bit to answer questions inside of the group.again, my apologies for this being late. I was actually airing this on my personal page. I'm 100% my fault. don't blame anybody else. so,and who exactly are we, for those of you who are new to us. So AnswersNow is a mobile app that connects you,a parent or a caregiver of a child or an adult diagnosed with autism directly to their own board, certified behavior analyst.and so, that's the core of it and what we're doing in response to,this unprecedented sort of, virus situation we find ourselves in is we have launched a whole series of kind of specialized rooms for parents that are free, where they can come in and talk to other parents and try to figure this out on a day by day basis.

Speaker 1 (02:04):

We've got them broken out by topics. So you can, there's two ways that you can get there. you can either, download the app,through the Google play store or the app store, the Apple store, and just type in AnswersNow, no space that's a little purple.if you see the little up in the corner there, the little, purple box with the butterfly, and download it, and then you can just click join a's a button on the landing page and it's free to enter. And then you just join the ask me anything community and I'll be there in a few minutes. You can also go to our website, get click get started. And same thing just to join a community. So we are here to talk a little bit tonight and to ask me anything and like, what do we do?

Speaker 1 (02:50):

, if we're, you know, we're home with the kids, like most of us are like, man, one day's tough. We're looking at a minimum of three weeks and I, I'm not scaring people, but like, they're, they're starting to push those dates back out into April and perhaps even may.and so it's going to be a long probably are gonna be able to go outside at some, you know, some, like I went out with the kids today and we went on a little hike. but,one of the best pieces of advice that I could give now there's all kinds of stuff I'm sure people are looking at. Like I've got, we're going to put it, we're going to share some links in the, in the group, like 70 things you can do with your kids at home.

Speaker 1 (03:28):

And,so I wanted to mention some things that probably aren't as intuitive maybe.and the main one is just reading to them, right? Just picking up a book, sitting near them and reading to them. And if like some of these kids are, are so used to when we approach them, something not very fun happens. Like they might look and see the book and be like, Aw man, he's going to start making me pointed pictures or do something. I don't want to do that. I'm just chilling here. I'm playing with my blocks or I've got my iPad or whatever. This is a non demand situation. So I'm going to show you what that looks like. it is not terrifically complicated. I've got one of my daughter's, favorite books here, poisonous animals. So I would come and I would sit down next to her or him or near them.

Speaker 1 (04:12):

Like if they, if I sit, if you sit right next to them and they start kinda protesting, just move back a little bit. The whole point of this is for them to sort of hear the sound of your voice conversationally without a demand in it, right? Because when we interact with our kids, so much of it's demand, give me this, don't do that. Come here. Get ready to put your socks on.and so just sometimes the sound of our voice or our presence can result in them having an upset. What? Multiply that times a thousand. If you can't go anywhere, right? Like you're just in your house or in your apartment, and every time you did the kid sees you, they're like, Oh, what's about to happen? Or they're going to take a drink or they're going to get like, so you would sit, just sit down and you would open it up.

Speaker 1 (04:52):

So this is, some snakes have sharp hollow teeth called fangs. This is a puff adder. You can see the pointed fangs at the front of the snake's mouth. Snakes inject venom through their fangs to catch animals to eat. My MBS, my four year old daughter eats this stuff up. So just that, don't ask them questions. Don't point it. Pictures don't. The whole point of it is just to hear the sound of your voice and be in your presence without a demand. What this will do is it will reduce their anxiety about when you approach them about stuff. So yeah, you're still going to do all that kind of parent stuff, but this is a super simple, easy way to build a little rapport and to make it so that we've done it at my school a bunch of times. I've got about a hundred kids, really intense kids.

Speaker 1 (05:42):

The kids who go to high school are like the most intense kids from about a hundred mile. circle around from where I'm sitting right now.and we, we implemented this, I dunno, like a year or so ago,where we'd have the staff, they're like, Oh, I don't know what to do. I'm kinda done with work and we're kind of in between things. I'm like, just read, just have a book, pull it out of your pocket and read and almost everything that you would want to measure got better. But the main one was the staffer. The kids seem to like me a little bit better. I was like, yeah, right. It's amazing how that works.because you're not putting them in a demand situation all the I am going to, cause I know our, Alison is going to want me to jp over to the, ask me anything group here.

Speaker 1 (06:24):

, very quickly. I like to see the thumbs up.we've got a couple people in there. I can see what's happening.see if a TBC, whoops. Allison's told me anything. All right, so just a couple more minutes. One other that I wanted to get to is, this is one of my favorite things. So this is just a little white board and this is my little whiteboard marker.this one works really well. This particular one, I usually do it on a piece of paper,with, a couple of blocks.but the advice you're going to hear over and over and over again is, Oh, you gotta be super have to have a really [inaudible]. Some people are, but I get, I just promise you as a parent, yes, maybe you can do it for a day,and be very structured and almost wear your place like a classroom.

Speaker 1 (07:12):

but three, four weeks into this kind of doubtful,more structured, you are obviously the better, but how do you let them kinda know what's going on? So you would say,and a lot of our kids don't, the kids we work with are very visual,and don't necessarily, understand exactly what we're saying. So I would say something like,I see Sasha is in the group, session. First we're going to read a book. then we're going to play with a ball.and then we're going to go on a swing, right? So I would literally just draw very quickly

a book, a balland a swing. And I know it seems very silly. Ooh, let me move that a little bit. So first we're going to, ooh, here we go. We're going to read a book, we're going to play with a ball, and then we're going to go out to the swing. I could use a better pen. And as you do each activity, you just cross it out so they know what's coming. This, I have used thousands and thousands and thousands of times after the kids get used to it. What I have found over and over again is they will hold out their hand. Even if they don't, they don't talk. There's, you know, there's, they're nonverbal or maybe they do talk. They want to hold the piece of paper. It's like their calendar, right? So you just hand it to them and then just refer to it as you're going through whatever the activities are. This is what I just explained to you. Is it a very short timeframe, right? Like book ball swing, right? All kinds of,but I've used this to like, Hey, we're going to go to the library and then we're gonna go to the bank

Speaker 1 (09:01):

, and then we're going to come back home. I just, it reduces the kids' anxiety by giving them,some knowledge as to what's happening next.we, we wildly underestimate,how anxious most of these kids are.and the biggest one is they're uncertain about what's going on, especially kids with really acute, communication and social skills, challenges is they can't just look around like you and I can and figure out like, Oh, this is obviously what's gonna happen next. Okay. They're all lining up. They were going to go outside. They're not picking up those cues.and so if you weren't picking up those cues, if you were just sitting in a restaurant and you had no idea what was going on, why is this person coming towards me? What's that person doing over there? It's hugely anxiety inducing. Most of us hear this from folks who have not traveled very much in their life and they'll go to a foreign country for the first time and it's just off the charts.

Speaker 1 (09:52):

You don't understand what people are saying. You don't understand what the signs mean. you don't get how far apart you're supposed to stand. There you go. That is what a, a pretty good example of,, being on the spectr, feels like,tons of anxiety. So these are both of these, sort of, ideas that I've given,are ways to reduce anxiety, reduce uncertainty, which will make your day by day functioning better.we are going to push out, some,some resources to everybody.but there's, there's endless out there right now. Like everybody's putting out, you know, what to do with your kid at home. But these two, I don't think,are necessarily common knowledge. So now I am going to sign off. I think. So, you know what, let me move this down a little bit.I can do, I think both for a little bit. I'm going to jump over into the AMA group now.

Speaker 1 (10:59):

So what I'm doing is I'm starting to respond to folks that are in our community group and ask me anything. And again, the way that you get there is you download. Hey man, you bet you're very welcome and feel free to ask me stuff like we, we really like doing these, so if there's any,any questions that you have, chances are,it's a question I've heard before.and it's a challenge that we have addressed before. So I'm happy to help.I, I, and I, I just want to say Amanda, I don't know if it was the reading one or the little cheat sheet, on the piece of paper.but that reading one is unbelievably powerful. It, and it seems like a lot of things, the simplest things in life sometimes are the, the most powerful.

Speaker 1 (11:42):

, so you can go to get AnswersNow. Dot com. Click get started, join the community.keeping an eye on it right now.or you can go to the app store, your app store, whether you, you know, I have a,I've got an iPhone, so I would go to my app store. If you've got an Android, you would go to Google play store, click it open and type AnswersNow, all one word, and you'll see the app and you can download it. And just a,you can join a community, from there.and the communities are free,and they're sort of rooms for, to make sure,that,we have a lot of ways of reaching you. So in response to the coronavirus, AnswersNow is dramatically expanding.

Speaker 1 (12:30):

, how, how, how we can reach people. So we've set up all these free rooms.they're going to be moderated by a board certified behavior analyst. So you can have folks like me who are able to answer questions like this, talk to you about what I can do, talk to you about communication issues. You know, are your siblings getting along? How do I transition stuff? How do I, you name it, we can do it. And so that's, those are called our communities. So if you go through our website or our app,you'll see a button that says join a community.and so there's a bunch in there. The one that we are,looking at, tonight,is called the ask me anything community. It's the top one there. And again, I just want to apologize.

Speaker 1 (13:12):

Hey, I love the heart. Starting off on that, this is our AnswersNow, our official Facebook page. And we tested it and it worked.and then when I clicked it off and I opened it back up, it opened up,on my personal Facebook page, which all looks exactly the same pretty much.other than instead of a little AnswersNow I should've been cued in. It's a picture of my daughter with paint all over her face, it's my personal one. So apologies for that. So everything got pushed back a little bit.does anybody have any questions while I'm kinda here? Cause I know that probably not everybody's necessarily gonna move over and I am keeping, and I am going to start answering some questions in there.but feel free to ask here.

Speaker 1 (13:55):

I know we've got, some,some folks in the room right now, questions about,you know, how do you handle the,being inside all the time? How do you explain, the Coronavirus? My four year old can now say coronavirus and understands a little bit what it is. I'm a firm believer in,simple age, appropriate, clear talk to kids. they don't need a whole lot of complicated language. You don't have to pop open, the Wikipedia and show them exactly how viruses favorite example of that with the kids, I think this is safe for work, is that one of my friends, they,said their kid asked him, where am I from? They're like, oof, it's time for the conversation. And they spent like 30 minutes going through the whole birds and the bees and they got to the end of the kid was just sitting there listening to it and then they got the end.

Speaker 1 (14:51):

They're like, no, what city am I from? We way over explained stuff to kids. Sometimes. It's a real simple thing I just explained. It's like a flu and it's pretty straight forward. There you go, boom. bring your questions over the answers to our communities. You can sign up for an account and ask me, I think group. Thank you very much. I am going to jump over there now so that I can be 100% available. As always. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy crazy evenings, and spending a little time with us.we're really enjoying getting to know the community. We've been doing this for about two years now.and it's only recently that we really, you know, we had to practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. But we've got everything built.

Speaker 1 (15:38):

We've got a really great platform, a really great team, a bunch of really great clinicians,that are helping parents right now.and, this is, a terrific way to get to know you even better so that you can see us and hear us and talk to us. So, I'm going to sign off now and ask folks who would like to continue the conversation to go over to get AnswersNow. Dot com. Click get started, join a community, ask me anything or download the app on their phone. Same exact thing.sign up and,click, join a community and do the, ask me. I'm seeing hearts and stuff like that. So I feel like I shouldn't jump, but I'm gonna. And there's Alison saying hello.

Speaker 1 (16:32):

And away we go. All right. Thank you very much folks. I look forward to talking to you next time. And, we'll go from there.

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