Training Day 1-What Is Autism?

We had a wonderful day today at our first parent and teacher cooperative training. We had a great turn-out and our audience was very engaged and asked thoughtful and astute questions. As we reviewed a slide talking about the hypothesized causes of autism, our parents and educators asked many questions about things they have heard that cause autism and things they have heard that cure autism.

Parents and teachers learning about the causes of autism at our first parent and teacher training.

We at AGVFA want to make it clear for them and for you, dear reader, AUTISM IS NOT THE PARENT’S FAULT. Autism is a complex diagnosis. Research suggests that there is a combination of genetic and environmental factors at play. Research has shown that television doesn’t cause autism. Research has shown that vaccines don’t cause autism. Research has shown that eating a diet containing gluten does not cause autism.


We loved discussing these misconceptions with our participants today. We hope that as we dispel these rumors, parents and teachers can move forward and stop searching for something to blame for an autism diagnosis and focus on their child/student’s strengths and talents. We believe every child is a gift with great potential to learn and grow and change the world for the better. We think our participants agree with us!


To better help our participants understand how it might feel to have a speech delay, we played a game during our training. People were split in to groups of two and asked to convey a message to their partner without writing or speaking. Messages ranged from simple, “I am hungry” to more complex, “I want to go to the park and swing and on the way home I want to buy a chocolate ice cream”. The frustration and confusion people felt while trying to understand messages gives us a small insight in to what people with autism or speech delay may feel all day every day.
This weekend we are working hard to prepare for our next training on Sunday. Have a great weekend everyone!


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