Two children on the spectrum

Child's hand writing in note pad

Strong relationships lead to better outcomes at school and at home

Camden’s Alison Jones’ first-hand experience on the benefits of Positive Partnerships

Mother of two children with Asperger’s disorder, Alison Jones, has seen the benefits of Positive Partnerships, both at home and in school.

“My son, Lachie, was diagnosed with Asperger’s in kindergarten; however my daughter Erin, also with Asperger’s, did not receive a diagnosis until she was 14. Through Lachie’s experience, I’ve been able to see the benefit of early intervention, particularly during school.”

“Our family has a particularly strong connection with Positive Partnerships. Not only have we participated in the workshops several times, Lachie’s primary school teacher participated in the Professional Development program. As a result, she became extremely proactive in learning about each of her students on the spectrum, and working with parents to create individual teaching programs for them, which was incredibly worthwhile.”

“With this understanding and proactive approach from the teacher, we continued to see improvements in Lachie’s behaviour and learning.”

Now in high school, Lachie attends another supportive local school, where the teaching staff  are willing to work with parents and try new strategies to give students with ASD the best education possible. For instance, the school is using several techniques from Positive Partnerships to better students’ learning experience including:

  • The Matrix – a particularly useful tool to help identify which learning strategies work for students. This acts as a live document, which changes and evolves as children change their interests and aptitudes.
  • Base Lines – the base line is a visual representation of stability, a mental state where everything is “ok”. At the end of each school day, Lachie works with his teacher using the base line as a guide to identify the stressors throughout the day and how it was dealt with to bring him back to his “base line”. A great improvement has been seen in his behaviour returning home from school by using this technique.

Additionally, the school has been able to integrate popular computer game, Minecraft, into Lachie’s curriculum. Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything imaginable and protect the characters from obstacles and danger.

“It is a particularly popular game for children with Aspergers – lots of parents with children on the spectrum are familiar with it. Minecraft helps build computer skills as well as basic maths and engineering, which is why Lachie’s high school was able to create a project based on its objectives for his assessment,” said Alison.

“The strategies I’ve learnt through Positive Partnerships have made a great difference to Lachie’s results. It’s great to see that through establishing strong relationships with teachers, he can reach personal goals, and succeed academically.”

“Based on the ongoing benefits my family has seen from Positive Partnerships, I would highly recommend the program to any parent or teacher.”