Parent to Parent
Parent to Parent Workshop Series
They say experience is the best teacher. So who better to coach parents raising children on the autism spectrum than parents who have “been there” and can share their direct experience?
This is the premise behind Autism Delaware’s Parent-to-Parent training program. The five-week series calls upon parent-coaches with on-the-ground experience to share their knowledge and wisdom with other families.
During each two-hour session, participants will learn about strategies, supports, and resources available to them and their children. The goal is to empower parents with a deeper understanding of autism and create an environment that fosters success for their children.
Starting below is an overview of the program.
Week 1: Understanding ASD
Parents will gain an understanding of three core areas affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how these areas impact a child’s ability to communicate, self-regulate, and learn. The session includes materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that explain the signs of ASD along with the uniqueness of each child’s symptoms and how ASD impacts their abilities. Parents will also learn to gauge their children’s developmental milestones by comparing them with the milestones of a neurotypical child.
Week 2: Communication
Communication challenges individuals with ASD in ways as unique as their autism. This session includes a discussion of the various forms of communication (verbal and nonverbal) and how best to support a child as his or her ability to communicate develops.
Week 3: Visual supports
Visual supports promote communication and independence among people with autism who tend to be visual learners. Families will learn how to use these tools at home and in the community, and will leave this session with a personalized communication plan to try at home.
Week 4: Visual supports in practice
Continuing to learn and experience the importance of visual supports, participants in week 4 will be taught how to use visual supports to teach difficult concepts to grasp, such as “wait” and “help,” as well as how to ask for a break. Parents will also learn about autism consultant Carol Gray’s strategy for using social stories to explain a given situation and how a child can benefit. Gray’s evidence-based practices are used worldwide with people on the spectrum of all ages. For more information, visit https://carolgraysocialstories.com.
Completing the sessions on visual supports will be a lesson on how to use a countdown timer. This visual support not only structures the passing of time but also promotes a successful transition.
Week 5: Positive advocacy
Having a child with special needs often means parents need to learn a whole new language. This session will teach how to be an effective communicator and form a positive team of professionals around you and your child. The topic will cover special-education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), an individualized education program (IEP) versus a 504 plan, and how they all benefit children with ASD.
Parent to Parent Facilitator
Email Trina at Trina.Cale-Rosario@autismdelaware.org or reach her at (302) 224-6020.
Trina has been a trainer/educator with Delaware Division of Public Health and an environmental educator at the Aquatic Resources Education Center for Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife for a total of 18+ years. Since 2019 she has been a Training Administrator I for Office of Preparedness, specializing in Emergency Response and providing effective communication training for persons with access and functional needs. Trina completed 3 degrees: Associate in Applied Technology – Multimedia, Bachelor in Organizational Dynamics and a Master of Education. Trina has three children: Two girls ages 31 and 21 and one boy age 17; her son TJ is on the spectrum. Trina has been involved with Autism Delaware, Delaware Family Voices, Delaware Disabilities Council and many other organization (Partners in Policymaking) for about 15 years.