Working together

Positive Partnerships helps Lismore mother and teacher work together

When Nicky Leitch first received news that her son Noah, had ASD, a feeling of relief came over her. Noah, now 10 years old, was always getting into trouble but she knew he wasn’t a naughty child. As Noah was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s, it also meant that his disorder was difficult to define to an untrained eye.

Noah attends the local community school, a decision Nicky made prior to receiving his diagnosis. She felt a small school would provide Noah with the nurturing and structure he needed to manage his behaviour.

Although Noah loves attending school, there are occasions when he becomes resistant – particularly when it comes to interactions with other children.

“He doesn’t always recognise when someone is being playful. He thinks he is being bullied. For the most part the teachers know how to handle him and so do the other kids.”

Nicky first heard of Positive Partnerships when her son’s teacher recommended the parent/carer (PC) workshops, telling her the professional development (PD) workshop was the best special needs training she had received.

“I’ve taken away so much from attending the PC workshop. I’ve learnt to look at the cause and consequences of his behaviour and meltdowns. For instance, if he has a tantrum and is excluded from an activity, which is what he wanted all along, he is actually being rewarded for the meltdown. We’re working on teaching him better ways he can communicate that he doesn’t want to participate in an activity.”

“Since his teacher attended the PD workshop, the gap has been bridged in our communication and I feel we have a strong partnership to achieve the best outcomes for Noah. It’s comforting to know that she understands why he behaves in certain ways. She takes his needs very seriously, looks at possible triggers for his emotional outbursts and caters to them when his routines need to change. It has made his school days much more enjoyable.”

“I feel like his teacher and I are on the same team, when in the past with other teachers I felt like I was battling for Noah’s rights.”

“I would most definitely recommend other parents and carers of children with autism attend a Positive Partnerships PC workshop,” concludes Nicky.