"Helping Library Patrons with Autism: Start with Understanding”
Part of a special Library 2.0 series - featuring Dr. James R. Wining and hosted by Dr. Steve Albrecht
A 60-minute training webinar presented by Library 2.0 featuring Dr. James R. Wining and hosted by Dr. Steve Albrecht (board certified by the Society for Human Resource Management).
Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Autism is a complex, lifelong neurological issue, with different levels affecting the behaviors and interactions of the people who have it, along with their caregivers, who try to see them through their days, safely and peacefully. Libraries and library employees may serve people with autism and have no issues with their interactions or may have significant challenges when trying to help them. It helps to know the realities of how an autistic person sees the world. Ryan Dowd, Executive Director of Hesed House (one of the biggest homeless shelters in Illinois) and author of a 2018 ALA book to help library staff serve patrons experiencing homelessness, emphasizes the surprising number of homeless people with undiagnosed autism. If you serve the homeless population in your library, you need Dr. Jim Wining’s advice, as a leading autism advocate.
For help in this complex and emotional patron service issue, the Library 2.0 webinar series has turned to Dr. Jim Wining, a national advocate for autism understanding and the parent of an autistic child. Dr. Wining has an autistic child and has made it his life's work to help the autism community, educate businesses and entities who serve people with autism, and to remove some of the fears and stigmas associated with the disorder.
In this webinar. Dr. Wining will provide his experience and expertise to library leaders and staffers, to help them best understand and serve patrons with autism. Jim's long background in this subject has given him empathy, tools, and an understanding of the challenges interacting with a person whose level of autism is severe. The goal of this program is to eliminate myths, provide encouragement and understanding to serve patrons with autism with confidence, and be ready to support this population in the library.
In Dr. Wining's own words: "My name is Jim Wining and I am a parent of an autistic person (AP). While my educational background says teacher and my work background says businessperson, my real life has been, since the birth of my oldest son in 1982, about autism. As a father, business owner, business executive, and pastor, my life has been all about listening to autistic persons and communicating with them with understanding and love for their differences. I want to help you understand these unique patrons in your libraries."
- Understanding the Levels of Autism
- Admission to the Library
- Triggers in the Library Environment
- Staff Interactions with Patrons with Autism
- Understanding the Important Role of the Guardian
- Communication Challenges: The Importance of Tone, Giving Instructions and Directions, Reactions
- Environmental Factors: Lights, Touch, Odors, Water, Restroom Use
- Helping to Manage a “Melt Down”
- Social Distancing and Space
- Checking Out materials or Leaving with Materials Without Checking Them Out
- Restrictions on Library Use
- Possible Violence Concerns
- Possible Parking Lot Issues
- Safety Considerations
DATE: Friday, March 26th, 2021, at 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Rescheduled because of the speaker without power in Texas during March storm.
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