Learning from Toddlers on the Spectrum
SANDRA VAN NEST
Good therapists working with young children on the autism spectrum can take on many roles at once: clinician, educator, interpreter, and advocate. They know how to break social and emotional skills into pragmatic pieces, contrive situations to facilitate connection and resilience, and become experts in the essentials of effective communication. But entering into a child with autism’s world and connecting isn’t always easy. In this workshop, we’ll explore the skills and perspectives that can lead to breakthroughs with children on and off the spectrum. You’ll discover:
- How social constructs are built, maintained, and individualized
- Common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in early childhood, and how responses to social and emotional challenges impact long-term mental health
- How to identify and address dysregulation of the physiological systems and the impacts on perception and behavior
- How to appreciate the joy and wisdom of neuroatypical clients, and share that wisdom with neurotypical children and adults
Sandra Van Nest, LCSW, is a psychotherapist for children and their families, with a background in training, supervision, and curriculum design for autism and mental health services. She owns Piece by Piece Therapeutics, a child, family, and group practice in New Jersey.