Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was nearly impossible for CC Duncan to get someone like Raun Kaufman to come to B.C. and deliver an address during a 4children.ca workshop about autism. He is a highly sought-after voice in the field, and his schedule was always full.
Now that the world has gone virtual due to the pandemic, it is possible for parents of autistic children in the province to interact directly with Kaufman.
4children.ca in September will be conducting a virtual workshop with Kaufman, who is well-known in the autism world because of the Son-Rise Program. Kaufman’s parents were told that their son had severe autism and would require lifelong institutionalization, so instead they got to work and spent more than three years creating the Son-Rise Program, which allowed them to meet Raun where he was on the spectrum.
“I’m particularly excited about Raun, because I know that there is opportunity,” says Duncan, a behaviour management consultant and owner of 4children.ca. “If people give themselves the opportunity to hear him, they may be able to take it to the next step of going further and seeing different options (for their children), looking at their talents and looking at the possibilities rather than looking at what they can’t do.”
Duncan used to work for the school district in Powell River, but she resigned to start 4children.ca in an effort to provide more support for parents, caregivers and other professionals who work with children and youth experiencing behavioural challenges.
She took the workshops to smaller communities throughout the province prior to the pandemic, but now she is able to create international connections and networking thanks to virtual events.
“It was kind of an eye-opening experience, because now we’re no longer just in Canada,” Duncan says. “We have people attending from all over the globe, from Australia, New Zealand, across North America, the U.K. … it was incredible to reach so many other people.”
Duncan quickly learned that questions and concerns from parents, caregivers and other professionals are similar, regardless of where they live.
“We’re a lot more alike across the globe than maybe people would like to think,” she says.
The Raun Kaufman workshop, entitled “Child First Autism Approaches: Respectful Strategies for Relationship-Building, Conflict-Free Learning, Socialization and Crisis Turnaround,” will be a full-day event on Thursday, Sept. 23, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
4children.ca will be hosting a second virtual workshop on Nov. 4 and 5 featuring Dr. Ross Greene. It will be an advanced training workshop that will focus on the key themes, and key assessment and treatment facets of the collaborative and proactive solutions model.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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