‘time to talk’™ Conference 2022
On the 8th June 2022, ‘time to talk’™ held their annual conference for early years practitioners, focussing on supporting children with Autism. The event included presentations, a ‘question and answer’ session, workshops and short activities. Thanks to support from Unite, the Union, the event was catered and subsidised.
The day began with a presentation from keynote speaker, Gina Davies. Gina is a Speech and Language Therapist who has developed an intervention called ‘Attention Autism’ which focuses on developing shared attention to multi-sensory activities.
The Autism Specialist Speech and Language Therapy team from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) shared their expertise in supporting communication with children with Autism, both in a presentation and later in a workshop.
The Occupational Therapy team from SWFT gave a short presentation regarding their service, followed by a practical workshop exploring resources and strategies to support sensory regulation.
The Integrated Disability Service 0-5 Manager, Sandra Bowering (Warwickshire County Council) hosted a workshop on supporting behaviour in the Early Years using the STAR approach.
In between sessions, the attendees heard from a family who have a child with Autism, and their experience through early years.
Attendees were given a ‘goody bag’ of sensory resources which were explored together, ‘finding the fun’ throughout the day and reflecting on ideas for supporting communication using these toys.
Attendees were able to access eight stalls of information from various local providers including the Family Information Service, Libraries Service, Warwickshire Early Years, Unite and Barnardos.
Approximately 150 people attended on the day from a range of backgrounds including nurseries, schools, community nursery nurse team and children’s and families’ centres.
Attendees gave feedback at the end of the event and in the days after. They were asked to share three words about the day:
When asked what information they would take back and share with their teams, a wide range of the topics discussed were highlighted in practitioners’ own words. It was particularly interesting to note the themes of implementing ‘interaction strategies’ and reflecting on their own practice. One comment included ‘I will share “how it should be us as facilitators that change, not the child”. The attendees noted the event was an important reminder to make things ‘fun and fascinating’. Another commented on how “every part of the conference was worth sharing”.
Here are some other direct comments:
1: ‘finding the fun’ included play with two giant beachballs
2: Workshop with OT exploring ‘fidget’ toys and arousing/calming activities
3: ‘finding the fun’ What does communication mean to you? In pipe cleaner form…
4: the attendees
*There were many photos taken and shared on the day on our social media pages (Twitter and Facebook) with the #t2tfindingthefun.
Take a look @timetotalkwarwickshire on social media for more information on our events and how we support you to support all young children’s communication in Warwickshire. You can also find out more about our training at www.timetotalkwarwickshire.com