Jane THOMPSON has more than 25 years of experience supporting families and their children with special needs. In the United States, she has worked with the Montgomery County Public Schools in the Infant and Toddler Program, the Preschool Education Program, and Adult Education. While abroad, she has had the opportunity to work with various NGOs, and American-International Schools. Jane is a qualified examiner in the area of developmental assessments and has expertise in child development, early intervention strategies, and parent coaching. She provides seminars and workshops for parents, professional development for educational staff and often mentors students and novice early interventionists. She has a BS in Child Development and an MS in Early Childhood Special Education and Early Intervention.
Jane THOMPSON: “Look for the help that you need because the longer you wait, the harder becomes”
In Romania there are already various programs, courses, specialized sessions that have as purpose of harmonizing the relationship parent-therapiest-child with autism. What is new in this program of parental education?
I think what’s new about this program is that it has so much research behind it and it combines a wonderful combination of all ABA strategies. It’s exciting because it can always be done for very low cost so it’s a bargain for the country, for its families, for its professionals because it’s something that the professionals can add to their knowledge and skills base and it’s something that can have immediate impact on parents because it’s such a step by step project.
Today, what is the image of autism in the world?
I think the image of autism is one that scares a lot of people, I think it’s one that right now has more questions than answers. However many families and people in the field are feeling hopeful because we are seeing results through interventions, especially for children that are identified early and who receive early intervention. We also see country after country after country recognizing the need and coming together and solving the problem.
For those who are at home, please tell us the main idea of this program that you have presented, “Parent Skills Training Program”.
This program is designed to help not only children with autism but children with other social communication disorders, other developmental delays, and disabilities. The intent for this program is to go right into the homes to help children where they need the most support, their natural environments. This program gives parents who endure such a great deal of stress to support and strategies for helping their child. These skills give them hope and show them that they are their child’s most important teacher and that they have the capacity to help their child in the greatest way possible.
What are the skills or the qualities that a good master trainer need to have in this project?
The master trainers needs to be able to work very well with children, and with adults. They also need to be able to convey their knowledge to facilitators and to be able to support these facilitators. So a master trainer need to be a master teacher and also have a great capacity for learning and adapting and understanding new technics. They need to have the whole package, we need somebody with a lot of experience and a lot of capacity for conveying messages in a very clear and precise way and then having the emotional support necessary to help facilitators and parents going on work.
How important is such a project for those involved in the issue of autism spectrum disorders?
I think it has huge ramification for every professional in this country and for every family whose impacted so I think it’s a viral program that can completely change the way that services delivered.
What is success in life, in your opinion?
Success in life is finding out what we are here for and making a difference in others life.
Please send a message for those who read us.
There is hope that if anyone feels like they need help with their child they child they need to reach out. If they worry about their child they need to reach out, because help is out there look, don’t ever wait. Look for the help that you need because the longer you wait, the harder becomes. As soon as you see a problem, as soon as you get nervous, find help and find hope.
*Interview by Elena UNGUREANU, psychologist