April is Autism Awareness Month and in recognition a new partnership between the Potsdam Public Library and the Institute for Learning Centered Education is aimed at providing tools to the community in addressing the needs of children with autism.
The partnership, a result of a March program at the library led by Institute for Learning Centered Education Director Don E. Mesibov, where he read from his new book, Mesibov, Schopler, and TEACCH: Changing the World for Parents, and People with Autism; From Refrigerator Mothers to Treating Parents as Partners.
“The challenge is that there are people on school staff and community organizations who interact daily with people with autism and yet have not the slightest bit of training,” Mr. Mesibov said. “Our Institute has developed a two hour ‘Discussion Session’ that can acquaint people with basic understandings about autism that can be the difference between interacting successfully with people with autism or creating distrust at the first meeting.”
Potsdam Public Library Program Coordinator William T. Eckert said he was impressed with the work Mr. Mesibov was doing and offered the library as a resource in anyway Mr. Mesibov and the institute could use it in furthering their mission.
In launching the new partnership, the library will be releasing a series of videos of Mr. Mesibov explaining the institute’s 18 Tips for School Staff, Parents, and Others, for Addressing the Needs of Children with Autism. They will be posted on the library’s YouTube channel and social media pages. Such tips include understanding how people with autism think, to be cautious using metaphors around people with autism, to understand that their behavior is communicating, and to “create C.A.L.M.: Comfort, Affirm, Love, Model.
“As a library, we are here for all of the community,” Mr. Eckert said. “After attending Mr. Mesibov’s March program and listening to a community member with autism and their family members, as well as area educators, what I took away from that meeting was there is an urgent need to educate the public about autism. We are now pleased to be able to assist Mr. Mesibov and the Institute for Learning Centered Education in this mission.”
Events will be posted to the PPL website as they are developed at https://potsdamlibrary.org/upcoming-events/
For further information contact Don Mesibov at email@example.com
or William Eckert at firstname.lastname@example.org