Experience by Gonny Krijnen Training Guiding Students with Autism
July 2023 I received an email from Student+ informing me that money will be available for training and development opportunities for the volunteer study coaches.In addition to Student+'s monthly intervisions in which a variety of different and interesting topics are briefly discussed, I thought this new facilitation was a good addition. It allows us to delve into topics that are important for coaching students.
Among other things, Student+ came up with the proposal for a training course for counselling students with autism. My first reaction was that after years of guiding these students, I am already aware of what autism means to a student, but later it occurred to me that it would be good to delve further into this topic so that I can understand, follow and connect with these students even better.
In December 2023, together with a group of study coaches from Tilburg and Eindhoven, I started this training provided by Ilonka van der Sommen, expert on autism. During this meeting, she took us to explore the concept of autism, because as she says: "Who we are , how we think, what our experience and background is, all play a part in how we shape our guidance of these students".
Ilonka and also the other study coaches have already captivated me with all kinds of stories of experience and examples related to the image of autism, and afterwards Ilonka provided us with Internet sites, YouTube videos and podcasts to help us delve deeper into this topic.
After this interesting first training day, I am curious about the next three meetings on this topic. Very stimulating!
Hopefully, other study coaches will also be excited to start using the offer for study programmes and development opportunities so that we can all be even better "open" to what is going on with our students and therefore connect well with them.