If you have a child with exceptional needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and they attend school, daycare, therapy, or spend time with a sitter, it’s a good idea to send a personalized “About Me” brochure to those caregivers.
An “About Me” brochure is a brief, tri-fold document that provides very basic yet detailed information about your child that caregivers can access quickly. Because many of our children with exceptional needs may struggle to communicate, an “About Me” brochure is the perfect tool for you to be able to speak on their behalf.
Who I Am
In this section, you can provide an introduction to your child perhaps highlighting their areas of strengths as well as what they may struggle with.
For Example: My name is Barclay and I am seven years old. I have a really good memory and am an excellent reader, but I might need extra help with fine motor skills such as writing and using scissors. I also need advance warning for transitions.
In this section, list any medications your child takes, dosages, times, and special instructions such as how the medication is taken. Even if the medication is taken at home or is non-prescription. It is helpful for caregivers to have instant access to that information.
For example: I take Adderall 3 x per day, 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. I like to take it crushed and mixed with 2 TB of apple juice.
What I Like
In this section, list things your child enjoys. The list can be an excellent resource in helping caregivers choose reinforcers and rewards.
For Example: I love anything Mario Brothers, Star Wars, or Roblox. I also really enjoy playing board games and cooking.
What I Don’t Like
As equally important as what your child likes is what they dislike. In this section, consider adding things such as sensory aversions or things that may cause maladaptive behavior.
For Example: I can get easily frustrated with things that contain multiple steps. I also don’t like loud noises. Sometimes wearing my noise-canceling headphones can help.
What I Eat
Children with exceptional needs may have food aversions to temperatures, textures, and tastes. Some may have food allergies. Additionally, some may have difficulty opening packages, using utensils, and staying focused on mealtime requiring more adult assistance.
For Example: Expect to see mac and cheese each day in my thermos. I like foods that are soft, served at room temperature, and not a lot of strong flavors. I don’t have any food allergies. My mom and dad say it is okay for me to try a new food if I want to.
Tools to Help Me Have a Good Day
This section is for the tools that work best with helping your child comply with the demands of teachers and caregivers. Does your child use a visual schedule, a timer, or have success with First/Then or Choices? Be very specific but make the strategies simple to understand.
For Example: I have my best days when timers are used for transitions, First/Then for is used to get me to do something I don’t want, and choices whenever possible.
About My Family
In this section, you can list the occupation of yourself and your significant other as well as your hobbies. In additionally, this is where you’ll include information about siblings and pets.
For example: I am the youngest of four siblings, but they are all grown, so I am the only one still at home. My dad makes video games. My mom is a writer. On the weekends, we usually go boating to swim and fish.
In this section, list phone numbers, home addresses, work addresses, and emails for adult family members. Even though this information will be listed in other documents, It will be helpful for caregivers to have access to that information here as well for easy access.
Although the important information about your child may differ from the suggestions, the template below can at least give you a starting point. Just remember, the more the caregivers working with your child know about them, the more they will be able to interact with them positively and effectively. about-me-brochure-template (1)
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