2nd speaker at conference.

zaremom's picture

The second speaker was Jennifer McIlwee Myers, she diagnosed herself later in life after her younger brother was diagnosed. She then went from conference goer to conference speaker. She gave a great examples of how a person with aspergers thinks if they are not trained in what to do when the "WALK" sign at crosswalks turns to "STOP."

The main thing for me that was a great take away was teach the kids how to shop and order food as soon as they can speak sentences. In fact, earlier than that if you have and older child with the pecs cards.

"They cannot just use the pecs cards at home or school, they need to see the pausing that happens when a store clerk reads/understands a pecs card."

For example, a child shows a picture of a cup of water to a starbucks cashier.

"Is that Water? Oh, you want a cup of water?" If a kid is used to immediate reaction, this interchange would get frustrating.

She then discussed how it took 15 tries for her brother to order a happy meal without having a melt down.

He is in his teens now. She gave an example about how he requests an item at a store. He introduces himself by his full name, then introduce any and all family members that are with him, and then says "Can I see that train?"

Jennifer said, "Remember, the goal is not normal, the goal is FUNCTIONAL


seebert's picture

If society understood and valued autism, the WALK sign would change to RUN, Then STOP