Inclusive Approaches: From Self-Regulation Toolkits to Children's Stories
My name is Mandy. I am a doctor in genetics with a degree in biochemistry, a Mammy of two kids, a wife to Paul and the owner of a dog called Ben. In the more clinical setting we are an autistic family (professional diagnosis for myself and both kids) with a mixture of ADHD, auditory processing disorder (APD), hypermobility, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (Type III) and some asthma and allergies to make it interesting.
The idea behind Inclusive Approaches was that when we first suspected that our children were autistic and we began getting therapies to support the kids and the challenges they faced each day, we were handed folders and handouts and lists and links. As an autistic adult myself, it was very overwhelming. We found sourcing many of the items that we needed very expensive and also found that having lists of things to dictate for a child to do daily just didn’t work for our family unit.
So we came up with the concept of implementing the therapeutic approaches that we had been taught and given, by including the children themselves in the decision and the process. Making it interactive. This worked really well for our family and we thought perhaps it might help others too.
Inclusive Approaches showcases several products that we will be marketing, focused on inclusion, building on the strengths of individuals who may have received various diagnoses.
The page will eventually include ranges of Toolkits that we designed for parents and children to work with together, in order to help self-regulate and understand certain behaviour and movements. They are interactive, colourful, bright and user-friendly. Currently there is The Sensory Toolkit which is focused on helping awareness of sensory dysregulation, i.e. pressure, balance, taste, smell, introspection, touch, eyes and sound.
We are currently designing a Feelings Toolkit to help process various emotions; to understand them and implement strategies to help cope in various situations. We have developed Visual Daily Schedule boards which have Velcro visual attachments for morning and night time routines. We also have a modified version with magnets for those, like myself, who have mobility issues with their fingers.
In the month of April the first of a series of short stories will be published. It’s aimed at discussing topics which aren’t typically discussed in children’s stories, in an attempt to ensure that each child feels understood and included. These topics will include APD, ADHD, hypermobility, EDS, sensory overload, Autistic burnout etc.
We are very much open to supporting individual inclusive approaches towards each individual’s level of capabilities. In addition, adult-oriented products will be included to support challenges such as executive function, memory retainment, organisation, dysregulation etc. Feel free to contact us and see if any of our products can help make life less stressful.
Mandy is a doctor in genetics and an Autistic Mammy of two. She has founded Inclusive Approaches to help families and children work with their strengths by providing tools for sensory and emotional self-regulation, and inclusive children's stories featuring co-occurring differences such as APD, ADHD, hypermobility, EDS, sensory overload, Autistic burnout, and more.