What is Foundations for Divergent Minds?
Foundations for Divergent Minds is a new training and educational model for use by parents and professionals working with autistic and neurodivergent children. The model uses the concept of foundations to create a systematic approach to designing accommodations and supports in classrooms and at home that create a supportive base from which growth can occur. The five foundations are sensory regulation, emotional regulation, communication, socialization and executive function. Parents and practitioners will learn how to manipulate environments and supports in these five areas in order to provide children with meaningful accommodations that they can carry through their lives.
How is FDM different?
Many existing teaching models for neurodivergent children function using a deficit model. A deficit model presumes that society is fine and that neurodivergent children’s differences are problems that need fixing. “Interventions” are designed by assessing the child’s development, compared to their neurotypical peers, and teaching skills that are “missing.” FDM is designed by neurodivergent people and presumes something different entirely-that when our kids struggle, it’s because their surroundings need to be adjusted and assessment should start with what is missing from the environment, not the child. Often times, goals focus on deficit first, and only use accomodation when everything else has “failed.” We presume that accommodations are primary in all other goals. We must start by supporting children’s needs and then building up from a solid foundation of acceptance and support.
What does FDM look like in practice?
FDM will be providing trainings, coaching, and consulting to parents and practitioners as well as resources and community for like-minded people. We will be hosting online and in-person training and certification in FDM. We aim to be a hub for educators and parents alike, to be a leader in the community pushing for acceptance and support for neurodivergent children. Our model is something that can be applied in therapy practices, schools, Early Intervention, childcare facilities and in the home.
How can I get involved?
Stay tuned for our upcoming FREE introductory webinars and upcoming eight week training in FDM.
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