Episode 26 – Autism Spectrum Disorders – Practical Teaching Strategies

In episode 16 of Chatabout Children™, we introduced you to autism spectrum disorders and the latest professional knowledge on the area. If this is an important subject for you, please do listen to that episode for a comprehensive introduction to autism spectrum disorders. In this episode, we bring in another expert to expand our discussion on the subject. This time, we focus on specific practical strategies that parents and educators will find extremely useful in responding to the needs of a child in the spectrum. For this purpose, we bring in Sue Larkey.

Sue Larkey is an autism specialist who has authored books and resources on the subject of autism spectrum disorders. Having taught students in the spectrum both at mainstream and a special autism school, Sue has a unique perspective on her area. In her work, she combines both knowledge from her practical experience and her extensive research in creating resources and interventions that inspire parents and educators to succeed in helping the children they love who are in the spectrum. Sue has a Master’s degree in Special Education and is currently taking up a Doctor in Education program focusing on inclusive education.

Key Learnings

  • What got Sue to be so passionate about autism spectrum disorders
  • Current progress in our understanding of autism spectrum disorders
  • The best way to understand what autism spectrum disorders are
  • What changes after a child receives a diagnosis
  • The overarching themes in Sue’s books, resources, and workshops
  • The biggest area where educators need support within the classroom
  • Strategies for encouraging the child to engage and connect
  • Strategies for understanding and responding to the behaviour of children in the spectrum
  • Why negative instructions don’t work well with children in the spectrum and what to do instead
  • Recognizing the different sensory needs of children in the spectrum and responding to them effectively
  • Strategies to help a child in the spectrum develop communication skills
  • Playground tips and strategies

Sue’s strategies for helping children on the spectrum transition between tasks

  1. Use routines. The more routines, the better.
  2. Avoid yelling when giving instructions. Instead, keep your voice clear and concise then use visuals.
  3. Use a visual timer.


On autism spectrum disorders: “It’s a different way in engaging and thinking in both social, sensory, communication, [and] behavior. It’s across all those areas.”

“Embrace difference to make a difference.”

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Any information and links presented within the Chatabout Children™ with Sonia Bestulic podcast are aimed to provide general information and advice only.
Information is to be used at the discretion of the consumer/ listener. The information presented does not replace or substitute the expert advice received from a direct consultation with the relevant qualified professional.


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Award Winning Book: FLOURISH FOR MUMS by Sonia Bestulic