Building on the success of the May training course on Preverbal communication for children with ASD, Saigon Children’s Charity continued to work with the HCMC National College of Education, sponsored by Lufthansa Help Alliance, to put forth the second of the 6-part. Over the course of the 26th and 27th of June, SCC had the opportunity to accompany over 300 parents with autistic children from across the country to learn more about developing language and communication during the early language acquisition period (1 to 4-word formulation). As a result of the fourth wave of COVID-19, the course was held online via Zoom. The training was led by Ms. Hoàng Thị Lê Quyên, a senior lecturer at the Department of Special Education, Hanoi University of Education, and Ms. Trà Thanh Tâm, a speech pathologist and early intervention specialist at HCMC Paediatrics Hospital 1.
The agenda was arranged by day. On the first day, basic knowledge to help parents understand the nature of language and communication during early language development was outlined. More particularly, parents were taught signs that a child was ready to develop speech as well as the characteristics of language-communication specific to children with ASD. Based on this information, the second day introduced simple strategies to help minimise the difficulties children may face and allow them to continue developing and perfecting their skills. Parents also learned how to choose practical and appropriate goals that cater to the needs and abilities of their child, which in turn allowed them to construct an at-home intervention plan.
Prior to joining the course, most parents have never joined any skill training for children with ASD. They came to the course with the desire to “understand [my] child better” and “to become better with [my child]”. It was perhaps this that became the motivation for the to participate fully on both training days and complete the demanding tasks allocated. Parents gave a lot of positive feedback about the course with compliments on the useful, easy to understand and implement nature of the content presented during the program.
Aside from questions directly related to the main topic of developing language and speech, we also received a lot of concerns surrounding behavioural and sensory issues common in autistic children throughout the course. Through these queries, SCC acknowledged the need and interest of parents regarding the above topics, which coincide with what we will talk about in more detail in the following courses of the series. All information regarding the next training course will be uploaded shortly to SCC’s fanpage at facebook.com/saigonchildren. We hope that parents will continue to show support and enthusiastic participation in the future.