Archive for the ‘social deficits’ Category

Social skills teaching to teenagers on the autism spectrum

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

All children with autism have social deficits in three main areas; social interaction, communication difficulties and imagination skills. Many will also display ritualistic and obsessive behaviours.

 

These social deficits will remain with your child into the teenage years; autism can not be outgrown or cured.

 

For the vast majority of us the teenage years are probably our most social years. For teenagers on the spectrum the teenage years can bring their own set of issues, with an increase in hormonal levels many teenagers on the spectrum may begin to suffer from seizures, this in-itself can cause major problems.

 

But add to that a changing body. Increased sexual desire and changing peer pressures, for autistic girl’s menstruation, the teenage years can be an anxious, confusing and stressful time for the ASD teen.

 

Puberty is not something that can be avoided just because you are on the spectrum, therefore various resources aimed at helping parents of autistic teenagers help their child navigate their way through the high’s and low’s of the teen years are available.

 

One such resource aimed at helping parents of autistic teenagers explain puberty, for autistic girl’s menstruation as well as hygiene and other age related social skills is social skills stories.


No doubt you are probably already aware of how good this resource can be and how affective.

 

Social stories can take the pressure out of social skills teaching to teenagers on the autism spectrum.

 

A social skills story is normally a short visual representation of the situation, skill or behaviour that needs addressing. The social skills story breaks the skill down into small pieces taking out the frill, and highlighting the social cues or prompts. By using visual images and first person text in a concise and clear step by step plan, the social story will act like a role model for the skill, situation or behaviour.

 

This allows the ASD teen to rehearse the skill making it feel more routine thus taking away any anxieties and confusion.

 

Social stories aim to answer the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving the teenager on the spectrum an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.

 

Research suggests that social skills teaching to teenagers on the autism spectrum using social skills stories is beneficial

 

Not all social skills stories will be perfect, as no two teens will ever be the same, and from time to time will need tweaking to fit the teen and their capabilities.

 

To learn more about social stories for teens on the spectrum visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

 

Other sites offering social skills stories for children with autism can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com


Social skills to implement with nonverbal autistic children

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

All children with autism have social deficits and will more often than not lack the ability to read others thoughts and body language often referred to as the theory of mind. As typically developing we have the ability to read and determine the thoughts, feelings and emotions of those around us.

In fact Temple Grandin described her inability to understand the social communication of Neurotypicals as leaving her feeling “like an anthropologist on Mars”.

Toddlers with autism have more striking social deficits; for example they may avoid physical contact and make less eye contact. Toddlers with autism are far more likely to communicate non-verbally by manipulating another person’s hand.

Reports suggest that up to half of the children diagnosed with ASD will not develop appropriate communication skills and speech. And many children diagnosed with ASD may never develop speech.

This lack of appropriate communication skill can for many children diagnosed with ASD prove a real problem. For those nonverbal autistic children many parents and teachers use visual support cards and social stories that help the children with ASD communicate, learn, interact and understand the world around them.

Social skills to implement with nonverbal autistic children can be achieved through the use of visual support cards which can be used in conjunction with visual timetables, now and next boards and social stories.

 

What are visual support cards and how do they help? Small laminated cards showing images or pictures, some may contain text too. Sometimes referred to PECS (picture exchange communication system) used widely to help nonverbal autistic children communicate.

 

Visual support cards for social skills to implement with nonverbal autistic children can be downloaded and viewed from sites such as: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids


For social stories visit that can be used in conjunction with these visual support cards visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

 

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