Mindfulness, family involvement & trends in autism support - a conversation with Ronette Parker

Ronette spent years in Special Education classrooms. As she used mindfulness, deep breathing, and yoga to manage her own anxiety, she began sharing her techniques with her students. The results were transformative and led her to open her own practice, Mindful ABA, where she is a Mindfulness Autism Expert.

We caught up with Ronette who shared her thoughts on mindfulness, special education, family involvement in therapy, and industry trends.

Can you please share with us a little bit about yourself and your work at Mindful ABA?

Sure! I have been working in the Special Education field for over 20 years, most of those have been spent with children and young adults with Autism. The latter part of that I spent teaching preschool to middle schoolers in high needs classrooms, as well as helped children who were mainstreamed in general education classrooms whom had varying diagnoses.

During this time I was dealing with my own anxiety and started researching and practicing more mindfulness practices (such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, etc). I started to see the correlation of my anxiety symptoms with my students who had injurious behaviors to varying degrees, towards themselves and others. Slowly I began to integrate the techniques I was using for myself with my students during transition times. Over a full school year the injurious behaviors went down by about 90%! Their expressive and receptive language went up, their attentiveness, as well as academic readiness increased as well. Their overall confidence and happin

ess increased immeasurably.

What are some trends you have observed when it comes to providing support to people with I/DD at home, at school, and