Visual strategies for developing better communication for children with autism

February 14th, 2018

What are visual strategies?

developing better communication for children with autism,visual strategiesVisual strategies are things we see.
Facial and body movements, gestures, pictures, images and objects, environmental cues and written language these are all used as visual strategies that help support our communication. The world we live in is full of visual information such as a calendar, diary, clocks, signs, logos and so on all of which are used by us daily and support our communication. Without these visual strategies our lives would be confusing.

One of the major difficulties faced by children with autism is a lack of communication skills. A child on the spectrum will almost certainly have deficits with social interactions, communication skills and imagination skills.

A lack of communication skills is a problem faced by all children with autism and is normally the main reason the child on the spectrum finds it hard to interact socially with their peers and others.

Continuous research is undertaken into the causes and treatments for autism with conclusive results showing visual strategies for developing better communication for children with autism can help increase their understanding, social interactions and communication skills and behaviours.

Generally an individual on the spectrum will be a visual thinker and learner, which means that the individual on the spectrum will think in pictures and images, and will therefore respond and understand information easier, when it is presented visually rather than written or oral.

Therefore it is important that when teaching an individual on the spectrum communication skills the teaching be visually presented, using visual strategies.

Visual strategies for improving communication in autism such as social stories, PECS, flash cards, visual schedules etc can all be used as appropriate and effective methods for teaching an individual on the spectrum communication skills.

For children with autism it is not just the struggle with using language that hinders them but also understanding language and communication can be a difficulty. Children with autism lack the ability to understand the communication of others, trying to figure out what is happening or not happening, handling changes and transitions, and interpreting cues and signals in the environment can prove difficult and result in frustration and behaviour that is seen as negative.

Using visual support tools can help the autistic child understand what’s happening around them and why it is happening. Visual supports are a good structure that can be used to help support and teach an individual autistic child daily and not so common tasks, behaviours and skills.

Social stories are visual strategies for improving communication in autism, they can be used for a variety of issues, they can be edited to suit individual needs and levels of development, social stories are printable for ease of use and convenience and can be implemented quickly and effectively.

To learn more about how implementing social stories can help you teach social and communication skills and behaviours to your child with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Alternatively other sites which offer downloads and explanations on the uses and implementation of social stories for your child with autism can be located at:
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Strategies that help autistic children

February 7th, 2018

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of developmental disorders such as autism, atypical autism, high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Strategies that help autistic childrenGenerally a child with autism will have social skills deficits in social interaction skills, communication skills and imagination skills. Some children on the autism spectrum may also have difficulties with sensory processing issues, for example – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

Difficulties in these areas mean that a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will probably have difficulties understanding and following instructions.

A child with autism may understand simple commands but may have difficulties with long or complicated instructions.

For many children on the autism spectrum shifting their attention from one activity to another can be difficult and cause anxieties, generally an autistic child will need time to process given instructions.

For parents and teachers this can be frustrating, however repeating the instruction is not going to help, this will just add to the child’s anxieties, the more you talk the more pressure the autistic child is going to feel under and the more confused they will become.

All autistic children will struggle to understand spoken or written instruction this is mainly due to their social skills deficits which as we learnt earlier are common to autism. Communication difficulties are probably one of the major struggles parents face with their child.

For children with autism communication difficulties are common, a child on the spectrum may fail to recognise nonverbal communication such as facial expression or body language and may not recognise nonverbal communication such as gesturing or pointing etc.

However there are strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills.

For example PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are all strategies that help autistic children learn vital every day and less common social interaction skills, address communication difficulties and help develop imagination skills.

The purpose or goal of a social story is to provide the child with autism with a prompt for socially appropriate behaviour, help them become familiar with a situation, and to respond appropriately.

The social story is also used as a transition tool, helping the child with autism move on, help prepare them for a new experience, change to routine and prevent negative or inappropriate reactions that stem from a lack of social understanding.

A social story is a short story that has been written in a specific style and format. That uses visual images much like a comic script that gives the child with autism information through pictures and text providing clear, concise and accurate information about what is happening.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions ~ who, what, why, where and when as well as giving an insight into the emotions, thoughts and feelings of others and giving appropriate responses to social skills and situations the child with autism may otherwise be struggling with or may find confusing.

To obtain social skills stories that are used as strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Social perception in autism

February 5th, 2018

Generally most children on the autism spectrum will appear aloof even rude at times, free of pretences, oblivious to public opinion and not concerned with making a good impression. Children on the spectrum are honest, if you do not want a straight forward answer don’t ask, they will not pretend and will not care if they hurt your feelings by being honest.

For children with autism a lack of social skills can lead in many cases to bullying, isolation and ridicule. A child on the spectrum will not worry about how others perceive them or whether they are considered cool or not by their peers.

A lack of social perception in autism can be helped by using supports designed to teach children on the spectrum why we need social skills, what they are and how to conduct themselves.

Most children with ASD are visual thinkers and learners and will respond better to visual information, such as visual autistic supports. There are many visual autistic supports available to use, but probably the most effective visual support for children on the spectrum is social stories.

Social perception in autism is a problem. Social skills stories tackle the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others.

For example: You’re at a friend’s house, your friend’s son is playing nicely with his toy, but your son wants that toy. You have tried to tell him to wait, you turn your back and there is a yell! Your friend’s son is crying nursing a bitten arm, while your son is happily playing with the toy. Your son has not waited to share or asked nicely, his social awareness skills are missing, he wanted the toy therefore he took the toy.

What do you do? Stay in the home and never go out? NO of cause not, you teach your child on the spectrum appropriate social skills. Easier said than done? MAYBE…But introducing visual autistic supports such as social skills stories can really make a difference.

A social skills story is aimed specifically at children on the spectrum, written by experts, needs no formal training to use, can be printed out for ease of use and convenience, will slip into your bag to take with you while out. A social story can be edited and personalized to suit your child’s ability and language recognition.

Social skills stories are normally visually rich using visual imaged to show your child with first person text how and why we do what we do or why we use certain behaviours.

Social skills stories are used widely by parents, teachers, care givers and other professionals to teach a child on the spectrum appropriate social skills, they are also used to aid communication difficulties and to reduce negative behaviours such as biting, stimming, asking inappropriate questions and so on.

Social skills stories can also be used to help prepare for changes to routines, unexpected events or happenings, hygiene issues, in fact almost all social, communication and imagination issues can be dealt with by using social stories as a strategy.

To learn more about how to use social skills stories as a strategy when teaching social perception in autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Christmas time with a child on the Autism Spectrum

December 11th, 2017

For many children on the autism spectrum Christmas may be a time for stress and anxiety, with the on-going chaos and sensory overload the Festive Season provides.
However there are strategies that parents of autistic children can put in place to help their child cope.
Christmas time with a child on the Autism Spectrum,child on the Autism SpectrumTypically children with autism spectrum disorder ARE visual thinkers and learners; this means that they use speech/language secondary and visual information as a primary means of communication.
So how does this help us at Christmas!
Generally for children on the autism spectrum Christmas is unpredictable, and it is this unpredictability that CAN cause the most distress.
Using VISUAL autistic supports can help.
Characteristically children with autism spectrum disorder respond well to visual autistic supports like social skills stories.
Using autism supports for Christmas
Visual Timetables: Can be used to show a count-down to Christmas, and help the child with ASD visually see what is happening each day on the run up to Christmas, for example buying the tree, putting up the tree, decorating the house, a school play, party and so on.
Photos: Show your child with ASD photographs of last year and how you celebrated to remind them of how the Festive Season is going to be.
Visual Social Story Cards: Can be introduced to help the child with ASD deal with changes to routines, learning new skills and coping with unpredictability. Visual social story cards ARE small laminated story cards which act like a framework of a skill or situation for example the school play. The story card can help the child to understand what is happening and what is expected of them.
Autism social skills stories: Probably the most significant of the autism supports for Christmas. Autism social skills stories answer the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “ how” and offer an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others. The social skills story is a short descriptive story from the autistic child’s point of view which uses visual images to show how and why something is happening and how the autistic child can deal with this, as well as what other people will be expecting of them.
Visual flash cards – PECS: These can be used to help communication difficulties during the festive season.
Therefore Christmas time with a child on the Autism Spectrum need not be too stressful once the right visual autistic supports are put in place, visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/christmas

Social stories can be used to help recognise other people have opinions too

December 4th, 2017

social skills stories, social stories, social stories can be used to help recognise other people have opinions tooAll children with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will have the triad of autistic impairments which affects their:

Social interactions
Communication skills both verbal and non-verbal (facial expression/body language)
And imagination skills

Plus in most cases sensory processing issues which can affect their senses (taste, smell, touch, sound and sight). Typically children with an ASD will also display obsessive and repetitive behaviours, and can become stuck on a task /issue this can cause anxiety, and in some instances prevent the child on the spectrum from seeing other people’s opinions.

A child with autism can also have difficulties comprehending the communication and language used by those around them. And unlike typically developing children that learn social skills naturally, a child with autism will struggle socially, and will find it hard to understand the social behaviour.

The opinions and thoughts of other are of no real consequence for the individual on the spectrum, which can cause frustrations and upset.

Research suggests various treatments of autism like social stories can be used to help recognise other people have opinions too. Social skills stories can help explain the situation by showing the autistic child what to expect or what is expected of them which reduces stress and helps control anxieties.

By answering the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others social skills stories visually explain through the use of image and text what’s happening, whay and what others may expect of them.

To download social skills stories visit:
http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Visual method to teach social skills to children with autism

October 9th, 2017

A child with Autism will not set out intentionally to misbehave or cause stress or upset to anyone, simply out of fun or mischief.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects the way the individual processes information, communicates, uses language, thinks, acts, reacts and uses their imagination. These common characteristics of autism are called social skills deficits.

 

The common characteristics of autism will often make the child appear rude, aloof even arrogant at times. However this is not intentional, an individual with autism spectrum disorder will be brutally honest and say as they see it, be uninterested in appearing cool and oblivious to public opinion.

 

Using a visual method to teach social skills to children with autism is useful. Research suggests an improvement in social behaviour can be seen when social stories are introduced.

 

Using social stories can improve communication issues and help the child with Autism understand behaviours like pretend play, and making friends. Social stories are short descriptive narratives like a social script or framework for the skills or behaviour needing to be taught.

 

They use images to help show what is happening and what is expected of them. Answering the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as offering an insight into the verbal and non verbal communications of others, social skills stories can help support as well as teach social and communications skills, thus reducing stress and inappropriate behaviours.

 

To learn more about how to use this visual method to teach social skills to children with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Wonderful Craft Ideas to share with your child on the Autism Spectrum

October 5th, 2017

child with autism,wonderful craft ideas to share with your child on the Autism Spectrum,child on the Autism Spectrum,Kids with autismPlay is a necessary part of growing up for most children, but unlike a typically developing child the child with autism will almost certainly have issues with pretend play.

However, craft can be more structured, there are rules to follow and it is not necessarily all left to the imagination and for a child on the Autism Spectrum this can be helpful.

Therefore, wonderful craft ideas to share with your child on the Autism Spectrum can help you to interact with your child and have fun together. No two children are the same and what holds the attention of one child might not hold the attention of another, so with this amazing fun filled craft book there is something for everyone.

Kids with autism are typically quite sensitive to sensory stimulation. So activities such as running, spinning and twirling can be quite good fun for them. Try creating activities based around movement for example bouncing on a trampoline (inside and out). Or try swinging on a swing, in a hammock or try using a blanket to swing your child.

Many kids with autism like to build things for example using Lego. You may also find putting a puzzle together is quite good fun with your child.

Other Wonderful Craft Ideas to share with your Child on the Autism Spectrum can be viewed at: Craft Ideas to share

Typically children on the autism spectrum are visual thinkers and learners and will find visual activities, information and projects more interesting. This applies to learning social awareness and communication skills as well.

A child with autism WILL gain better understanding of what to do in a situation if they are shown visually. Therefore visual teaching methods and tools, have been proven to be successful. For example a child with autism that is sensitive to sensory stimulation may find social stories useful when it comes to situations like hair washing, brushing their teeth, getting a haircut, visiting the dentist and so on…

Such social stories for teaching hygiene habits can be found at http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene.html

There is also for immediate download 33 wonderful craft Ideas for you to share with your Child on the Autism Spectrum including:
• There Candy Crafts
• Dried Flowers
• Making Gifts
• How to make a scarecrow
• How to make homemade ice cream
• How to make homemade stickers
• Making handmade paper
• Making homemade potpurri
• Making jewellery
• Sea shell crafts
• Trash Art
Ready for immediate download as well as other tools for autism such as social stories, visual social story cards, picture communication cards, now and next boards, visual schedules, behaviour charts and more…

Visit for social stories: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

A diagnosis of autism

September 26th, 2017

What do I do after my child receives a diagnosis of autism?
a diagnosis of autism Autism Spectrum Disorder is possibly one of the most frequently diagnosed developmental disorders. There is still as yet no cure for autism and research into its cause continues.

So what do I do after my child receives a diagnosis of autism?

Receiving a diagnosis of autism for your child is not easy. Typically a child with autism will have what is known as the “triad of autistic impairments” these are impairments in social, communication, imagination and interaction skills.

So what does the triad of autistic impairments mean to your child?

Children on the autism spectrum have problems socially interacting and will not normally develop socially in the same way as a “typically developing” child. The child with autism will almost certainly lack the ability to distinguish and read body language and facial expression.

This is often referred to as “mind blindness” or the “theory of mind”. Normally developing children learn how to distinguish the thoughts and feelings of other people as they grow by people watching they begin to distinguish certain expressions, postures and mannerisms this ability is somewhat diminished or completely missing in children on the autism spectrum.

Typically children are by nature very curious and will want to please, copy, mimic and learn social behaviours. The child with autism will probably lack this normal instinct and will need direct instruction for social and communication skills.

Probably one of the most important issues parents have difficulties with after a diagnosis of autism is their fear that their child will not be acknowledged socially and will struggle to make friends.

There is however treatments and therapies available to parents, guardians, teachers and so on, which can be found on the internet such as social skills stories for autism.

Social skills stories for autism are designed to help children with autism gain knowledge of and remember social and communication skills from basic every day life skills such as washing, brushing teeth and using the toilet to more complex skills like accepting a new baby into the family, making friends, buying new shoes, even attending the hospital or dentist.

The use of autism social stories on a regular basis to teach and re-enforce appropriate social skills and behaviours to children on the autism spectrum has been proven to work.

Written by experts, teachers and parents using appropriate language the social skills story will help explain the why, what, where and when and how to the child with autism.

To find out more about social skills stories for autism like autism and making friends visit www.autismsocialstories.com where you can download various social skills stories for autism

Social Stories designed to help children with autism

September 13th, 2017

child with autism,child with autism spectrum disorder,child with an asd,Social Stories are visual teaching tools,Social Stories designed to help children with autismSocial Stories are visual teaching tools used to help develop social skills in children with autism.

Autism Social Stories provide the child with autism spectrum disorder an explanation and visual framework of the skill or situation that they may find difficult or confusing.

Research shows that Autism Social Stories are an excellent visual teaching tools which can be used to help reduce stress and inappropriate behaviours in some children with an ASD. The social story also increases social understanding and has been reported as a good approach for helping children with an ASD to reach their full potential.

The goal of a social skills story is to increase the child’s understanding of skills and social situations they are struggling to master and understand. By making the child with an ASD more comfortable with and in the situation, and suggest possible responses they may receive from others.

Social skills stories follow specific sentence types: descriptive, perspective, directive and control. Introduced around twenty years ago as a means of communication, Autism Social Stories have grown into a very popular visual strategy that can be used regardless of age and ability.

Generally social skills stories are written by experts, teachers and parents to help teach social and communication skills. Autism Social Stories can be edited to suit all needs, personalized, printed and are portable making them convenient and easy to use.

A social skills story can be introduced to help deal with any situation or skill that the child needs help with. No formal training is needed to use social skills stories, site which offer support and expertly written Autism Social Stories can be found using search engines such as Google.

Sites that offer Social Stories designed to help children with autism like http://www.autismsocialstories.com offer support, and downloads of printable social skills stories for various situations and skills.

A social skills story should be visual and use first person text, like a role model the social skills story will help with transitions, and changes to routines as well as teach and support social skills and communication difficulties.

For more information on this visual strategy visit any of the following sites and find Social Stories designed to help children with autism

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Using Visual Supports for Autism at Christmas

November 4th, 2016

For many children with autism spectrum disorder Christmas can be a time of high stress and confusion.

Autism social stories for Christmas,Intervention Strategies such as Social Skills Stories for Christmas

With changes to routines at home and at school, many autistic children can suffer sensory overload. Triggering “meltdowns” and anxiety

As any parent with an autistic child knows, any change to routines can cause problems

“Intervention Strategies such as Social Skills Stories for Christmas ARE used with GREAT effect”

Social stories answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why and give the child with autism clear coping strategies for this time of year!

Visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/christmas/index.html