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Lunch and Learn Review May 2016

On Thursday, May 5th, Executive Director, Jennifer Dantzler, presented the highly anticipated Lunch and Learn, The “A” Word: Talking to Your Child About Autism.  Over the years, many parents have asked for advice on telling their child about their diagnosis. Jennifer Dantzler has helped many families prepare for the “big talk” and in this workshop she shared her expertise on the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of telling your child. For May 2016 Lunch and Learnexample, one important “Do” shared was ‘DO have the talk in a safe place where any reaction is ok.’ One “Don’t” included using abstract, non-concrete terms when discussing autism.

A big highlight of the event was when guest speakers, Linda and Gregg, shared their successful experience with explaining autism to their daughter on the spectrum.  Other parents had the opportunity to share their own experiences and challenges with this topic. One challenging experience included when a school told the child about the diagnosis before the parents had an opportunity to tell them. Jennifer stressed the importance of having this conversation with your child before they find out elsewhere. Another helpful tip? Keep the conversation open and ongoing for weeks, months, maybe even years.

Due to the popularity of this topic, Including Kids will likely re-present this topic in the upcoming academic year. Including Kids also provides training on a consultation basis to help parents prepare for this important topic with their child (and even siblings). If interested in these types of services and/or if interested in receiving emails regarding registration for these types of free events, please contact outreach@includingkids.org. Lunch & Learn workshops are often a favorite of parents due to the casual and intimate atmosphere (registration is limited to 12-15 participants typically) and the free lunch!

Written by Nichole O’Donnell, B.A., BCaBA, Community Outreach Director, Including Kids, Inc.