Former South Australian School for Vision Impaired (SASVI) and Daws Road Centre student and recent graduate of the University of Adelaide’s Bachelor of Media degree program, Jarad McLoughlin believes being on the autism spectrum has played no disadvantage in his skills and ability to be a successful learner and follow his long-held passion of being a radio broadcaster.
Presenting at the Celebrating Autism in Education Conference at Adelaide High School this Friday, Jarad emphasises that recognising and working with an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and abilities plays an influential role in the educational journey of anyone who has autism or other diverse neurological conditions.
The conference will feature over 20 autistic students, parents and professionals discussing strategies, sharing insights, and running workshops focussing on developing and refining skills to engage and facilitate achievement of children and students across the spectrum.
Jarad will be speaking about the authentic and stereotypical representations of people on the autistic spectrum in the media
“I will be referring to TV shows from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom and talk about how specific fictitious characters portrayed as being on the spectrum are represented quite differently and effectually to those who are neurotypical or not autistic.
“There’s broad representation of these characters that are on the spectrum in television and movies such as The Good Doctor, and thus reflecting the vast differences in characteristics of those in real life.
“I’m hoping this will provide those that I am presenting to a deeper and consistent understanding of us as individuals with varying learning strengths, weaknesses and characteristics and in turn help to improve or refocus an educator’s approach to working with students with autism.”
The Education Department’s Senior Autism Adviser Emma Goodall said the conference aims to highlight the ability of children and young people on the spectrum and share insights and experiences to explore how we can more effectively engage them so they can be confident learners.
“The number of people who are presenting at and attending the conference is absolutely fantastic and shows there is a huge interest in expanding the capabilities of educators.
“It’s important we continue to educate and talk about autism as a learning ability and how we can empower teachers and support staff to recognise and work with students’ strengths.
“As someone on the autism spectrum, I look at my own educational success and career as a demonstration of what our students can achieve with the right support.”
The conference will be held between 9am and 4pm Friday 27 April at Adelaide High School.