A free visual support for parents to use to help document the often unseen supports that they are providing that help their child succeed at school.
Unfortunately it’s common for evaluators who are not familiar with a child to state things like “But I don’t see any signs of Autism” or “But he doesn’t “look” Autistic” when they haven’t gathered all the info, looked deeper below the surface or even done any tests that would be part of the process to confirm that diagnosis.
This is especially unhelpful for a child who was accurately diagnosed with Autism at a very young age, has had years of intense intervention and they, their family, their teachers, their SLPs, etc… have worked very hard to make gains to achieve this level of success. You may mean well but pushing to change the eligibility category based on such limited info is harmful.
I worked with lots of kids, teens and young adults with Autism over my 28 year career. Most of the patients on my caseload either had that diagnosis or very similar needs.
So I know firsthand that Autism doesn’t just disappear. A particular individual’s needs may ebb and flow over time and can vary greatly even day to day depending on how they feel, sleep patterns, dietary changes, hormones, environmental sensory triggers, etc… And I’ve read numerous posts from adults with Autism who describe their part time use of AAC and varying need for supports depending on the needs, setting or communication partners. At it’s core Autism is a life-long neurological difference that we need to acknowledge, honor and support over the lifespan.
If you are in the process of completing an evaluation on a child you just met or don’t know very well, I invite you to:
- Look deeper
- Understand that Autism is a life-long neurological difference
- Listen to that individual, their family and those who know them well regarding their journey and the types of supports that are needed in order for them to be successful
- Remember what you are seeing in an eval, even one done over a couple of sessions, is just a tiny tip of a much larger unseen iceberg
I created this visual for the mother of one of the most amazing kids I ever had the pleasure of working with. I saw him for several years and his transformation was quite extraordinary. But he still has Autism and still needs support. He has an incredible family who have always been willing to move heaven and earth to get him the services and supports that he needs. I have no doubt he will either discover or invent something that will be world changing. So when she reached out to me of course I had to do something. I will never “retire” from caring 💕
So I’m posting a FREE PDF and pictures of this in case anyone else might find it helpful.
If you want to print and fill out by writing in the boxes, there are three versions in this PDF (full color, faded color and black/white) so you can choose the one that best fits your printing needs: Autism Iceberg – Supports Needed for My Child to Appear Successful (free printable from Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP at OMazing Kids)
Or tap to open each full sized picture and then save the full sized picture of the one you want to the Camera Roll on your iPad or iPhone and then use the fabulous SnapType app to easily add text to the boxes. You can also take a picture of any worksheet to import it into that app to fill it in.
Black and White:
App: SnapType by SnapType, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snaptype/id1124115982, iOS Universal, iOS 9.0 or later, FREE.
If you want more features, check out their very affordable full version: SnapType Pro by SnapType, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snaptype-pro/id1124123246, $4.99. There are other PDF filler apps but this is by far the easiest one that I’ve used.
Example of me filling it out on SnapType (not specific to any particular child… just examples based on commonly occurring supports). After you are finished you can save it and export as a picture, as a PDF or as a SnapType file to share via e-mail or text message. The yellow highlighting only shows up while you are completing it… not in what you share.
I made this visual using the iESLp app by Irmgard Raubenheimer, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ieslp/id912953895, iPad only, iOS 8.3 or later. The SymbolStix symbols are included in that app. The iceberg photo is an open source, non-attribution photo that I found online.
Please feel free the share this blog post but do NOT upload the PDF, any of the pictures or any of the links to those items to any online files, servers, Boom Cards, Teacher Pay Teachers, or any other sharing platforms. Just refer folks here to this post to get the items for themselves. I feel that it’s important for them to read this blog post to understand why they were created.
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/