Natasha Freeman is welcomed by South Burnett Autism Support members Kurt Lutz, Stacey Palmer and Carmel Olsson at the conference on October 12.
Natasha Freeman is welcomed by South Burnett Autism Support members Kurt Lutz, Stacey Palmer and Carmel Olsson at the conference on October 12. Contributed

Event empowers families to put the 'autism puzzle' together

IT IS crucial for people to gain an understanding about how autism impacts the behaviours of their loved ones.

This is why the South Burnett Autism Support Group organised the Every Day is a Puzzle on the Autism Spectrum Conference last Saturday, October 12.

Group founder Jenny Lutz said understanding empowered individuals.

"Children have a lot of behaviours that we find challenging because we don't understand how they think,” Mrs Lutz said.

The conference hosted 71 people who listened to several expert speakers at the Nanango State School hall.

Speaker Lionel Evans spoke about life with autism as an adult.

SPEAKERS: Michael Frances, Lionel Evans, Leeann Evans, Sim Newitt and Nelle Frances.
SPEAKERS: Michael Frances, Lionel Evans, Leeann Evans, Sim Newitt and Nelle Frances. Contributed

His talk resonated with a South Burnett girl in Year 7 who was only diagnosed this year.

"She actually got to talk to Lionel and she was really amazed that finally she got to meet someone who thinks like her and understands her,” Mrs Lutz said.

"To get to 12 years old and wondering why you're different and not having anyone who gets you is huge.”

Gympie autism trainer Nelle Frances shared about what happens in the brain during a meltdown.

Speaker Sim Newitt talked about her work as a special needs teacher, having children with autism and also being on the spectrum herself.

Mrs Lutz said the group received a lot of positive feedback from the conference.

Melissa Whitestyles, Stacey Palmer, Roz Franz, Jason Moore, Carmel Olsson, Gary Rawlings, Kurt Lutz, Andreas Lindbergs, Wendy Kruger, Talis Lindbergs, Serena Lindbergs, Jenny Lutz and Greg Jamieson at the autism conference in Nanango on October 12.
Melissa Whitestyles, Stacey Palmer, Roz Franz, Jason Moore, Carmel Olsson, Gary Rawlings, Kurt Lutz, Andreas Lindbergs, Wendy Kruger, Talis Lindbergs, Serena Lindbergs, Jenny Lutz and Greg Jamieson at the autism conference in Nanango on October 12. Contributed

"Lots of people really had no idea how to deal with their children and grandchildren,” she said.

"They went away feeling a lot more empowered to deal with their kids.

"Lots of new parents went home with strategies to help with their children's behaviour.”

South Burnett teachers also attended the conference.

"It empowers teachers to understand better and to find strategies to deal with those challenging behaviours in the classroom,” Mrs Lutz said.

Service providers like NDIS Kingaroy, BUSHkids, South Burnett CTC and SB Care also provided information for families.

South Burnett

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