“Fostering is wonderful, fostering an autistic child is amazing.”

Celebrating Autism & Fostering

After taking a sidestep from teaching in secondary education to teaching in a special school I knew I had found my vocation. In 2018 I started my fostering journey. I have now been fostering a wonderful autistic girl for four years. I learnt a lot about autism during my teaching days, but I was no expert. Through fostering I have had a little tour guide that takes my hand and shows me the way every day. She helps me to see the world though her eyes. The small steps she makes are amazing and for celebration. It can be challenging but exciting at the same time because every day holds a new adventure. Some of the characteristics are so amusing. I put the toilet roll on the rail with the paper facing me and when she goes in the bathroom, she will put it the other way. Even if she sees me do it, she will wait and go in the bathroom later to change it. Fostering is wonderful, fostering an autistic child is amazing!

My favourite strategies and resources

  • Children with autism can thrive in a structured environment, so establish a routine and keep it as consistent as possible.
  • Have a daily schedule, allowing time for transitions.
  • Communicate and bond by joining in with the way they play.
  • Get to know there likes and dislikes, it will help you understand what motivates them.
  • Give them a voice. I started with PECs and now moved on to a communication book and some verbal speech.
  • Give choices to give them control in their lives.
  • Reward good behaviour.
  • Give a child time to process a conversation or instructions.

Give it time, try different strategies and approaches to figure out what’s best for your child.

Stay positive, don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond well to a specific method.

Find out what your child’s issues are with sensory processing. They may have senses which are over or under sensitive.

Autistic children learn better with pictures and demonstrations. Avoid long verbal instructions and provide visual cues or written instructions like social stories.

For another celebration on World Autism Acceptance Day, read about Addison’s Story. If you would like to find about more information about Autism, you can visit the Autism Society’s website.