Public Speaking & Professional Development

How do neurotypical parents/professionals and individuals with ASD establish positive learning and working  alliances together? What role does attachment style play, in supporting students and clients with ASD? Ruth is a dynamic and engaging speaker, who loves speaking with groups of all sizes and backgrounds. Presentations on ASD-Informed practices are available for the following audiences:

  1. Professional Development for Educators
  2. In-service Training for Mental Health Professionals
  3. Parent Workshops and Presentations

Please contact Ruth directly to get your questions answered!

Professional Development for Educators

Although Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) continues to influence IEP's for children with ASD, teachers and mental health professionals often express concern about taking a purely behavioural approach to teaching (and interacting with) children! Teachers frequently note that behavioural approaches can dampen curiosity, undermine a child’s willingness to take healthy risks in learning, obscure the child’s unique perspectives and even obstruct meaningful connections with peers.

With recognition that they can certainly change behaviour in children with ASD, behavioural interventions may also place the child’s mental health and well-being at risk. This is because behavioural interventions were designed to address behavioural problems - but ASD is not a behavioural problem! It is a neurologically-based, developmental issue, requiring ASD-Informed, developmental intervention. Current research aligns with parents’ lived experience, by recognizing that learning happens within relationship. Engaging kids in meaningful ways enables them to construct their capacity for growth, development, self-awareness, resilience and lifelong mental health. This is true whether ASD is a factor or not. No behavioural strategies can achieve this - it is achieved through healthy, dynamic, mutually respectful relationship!

The challenge for educators is how to establish healthy teaching and learning relationships with students with ASD. Once teachers have this in place, their capacity for recognizing, establishing and sustaining engagement in students with ASD soars! Based in my model of ASD-Informed Psychotherapy, I provide exciting and deeply encouraging professional development opportunities where teachers gain both the theoretical understanding and the practical skills to establish positive teaching and learning relationships with students with ASD, at all ages. Isn't it time to change the question from “How do I get this kid to….?” to something more growthful, less anxious and more mutually respectful? I believe so, as do thousands of ASD-Informed educators across the world! 

Workshops range from 90 minutes to 3 hours in duration. Inquiries for school or conference-based presentations are welcome.

In-service Training for Mental Health Professionals

Therapists and counsellors recognize the need to establish a working alliance with clients, which becomes the “container” within which the client can make the changes they desire in their own lives. ASD - diagnosed or not - impacts the working alliance in ways that are similar to how it impacts other relationships in the client's life. When ASD is a factor, relationships are often experienced as challenging, confusing and unpredictable - even aversive and therefore unworthy of effort. My model of ASD-Informed Psychotherapy provides a multi-modal framework which  applies within multiple theoretical approaches, to make psychotherapy accessible to adults and children with ASD.

Individual workshops or group training is typically 90 minutes in duration. Inquiries are welcome.

Presentations for Parent Groups

As an Adlerian parent therapist I provide parent training and presentations to all kinds of groups! Parenting children with ASD (and often their non-ASD siblings at the same time) requires an understanding of early development and secure attachment, to enable parents to support their child to reach her/his developmental potential, without compromising their own or their child's mental health. It is my privilege to support parents in learning about their children’s mental health, and about the tremendous impact on development and resiliency of an ASD-Informed parent-child relationship!

Presentations range from 45 to 90 minutes. Inquiries from parents (individual or groups) are always welcome.