Kim Healy - Team Leader, NSW & ACT

What do you like most about being a Positive Partnerships Team Leader?

I am excited about my new role as the NSW Team Leader with Positive Partnerships, as it is giving me the opportunity to reach out and make a difference in the lives of so many more young people on the autism spectrum. By building upon and sharing skills and knowledge of teachers and parents through our workshops, whilst offering guidance on developing partnerships between home and school, I know that the impact for our young people on the autism spectrum is a positive and powerful one.

How long have you been working in the autism/disability sector and in what capacity?

I have worked as a teacher supporting students’ with disabilities in mainstream schools for nearly 30 years. I have loved co-teaching and planning together with parents and teachers to help students with disabilities have optimum engagement and success at school. I have worked as a classroom teacher, learning support teacher and Special Needs Advisor.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a Positive Partnerships facilitator?

The most rewarding thing about being a Positive Partnerships facilitator is watching the transformation of the participants. No matter where each individual participant is on their personal journey with autism, it is wonderful to see them grow in confidence by having some new tools and strategies to problem solve and plan for their young person on the autism spectrum. I love seeing them feeling affirmed by their peers and watching them network and support each other.

Finally, what are some tips for teachers and parents on how to help children settle in, when they start school or transition to high school?

Preparation, preparation, preparation!! Make sure you have some visits in the couple of months before they start. Take photos of important areas like the front gate, classrooms, library, canteen etc., as well as the key people who will be supporting your child. Make a book about starting school using the photos and read it often. Most important of all, have confidence that your child will succeed!