Archive for the ‘symptom of autism’ Category

Teaching children on the autism spectrum

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Many people with autism are visual thinkers, this means they think in pictures rather like a DVD running through their imagination, pictures being their first language, and words (spoken and written)  being their second language.

 

Therefore teaching children on the autism spectrum is made a whole deal easier if the teaching is done pictorially or visually.

 

Rather than string together long sentences or display written instruction try to use more visual prompts such as diagrams, pictures, graphs and images when teaching.

 

Avoid long strings of verbal instructions. People with autism have problems with remembering the sequence this a common symptom of autism.

 

Using visual supports like visual support cards, PECS and social stories are excellent visual supports for children on the autism spectrum. For example children with autism have difficulties with social and communication skills; this is a common symptom of autism and is present in all children on the autism spectrum.

 

Having difficulties with social and communication skills is referred to as the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

The triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits affect three main areas of development: Social skills, Communication skills and Imagination skills.

 

Using social stories as an Intervention strategy parents, teachers, care givers and other professionals are able to combat difficulties with the individual’s autistic impairments.

 

For example many children with autism struggle with transitions, changes to routines, reading emotions and expressions, learning skills, behaviours, communication and imagination. A social skills story can target the difficulty and visually show a detailed plan for tackling the situation.

 

A social skills story is much like a comic strip visually representing the skill or situation being taught, like a role model or visual plan. The social story will break the skill down into easy to understand sections, removing un-necessary language and fluff.

 

Social stories answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and will give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is a marked difficulty for most people with autism.

 

The social skills story uses visual images or pictures to explain the skill or situations and first person appropriate language always written from the autistic child’s point of view.

 

Most social stories are written in word format making them easy to edit and personalize, as none of us use the same terminology with our children and no two social story are ever going to be the same therefore social stories should be easy to edit.

 

Social stories should also be convenient to use, printable social stories for children with autism are available from reputable sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Where you will find printable social stories for children with autism on a wide variety of issues such as: hygiene, for school, at home and for occasions and activities like visiting the dentist, getting a haircut and transitions such as moving school and house as well as for everyday skills like making friends.

 

To find downloads of social stories for kids with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Children with ASD need social skills

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Research indicates that social impairments ARE a common symptom of autism, and that all individuals with autism will have social impairments of varying degrees dependant on their own personal level of ability.

 

Commonly, all children with ASD struggle with social skills and need direct teaching using Intervention Strategies designed specifically for this.

 

Typically developing children learn social skills and behaviours naturally through watching and copying their peers and parents and directly from their environment etc.

 

Children with ASD need social skills teaching; they will not naturally mimic or interpret and learn social or communication skills. A child with an ASD will have difficulties following instruction unless the instruction or information is presented in a manner which they can readily understand.

 

We know that the vast majority of children with ASD are in-fact VISUAL THINKERS AND LEARNERS. This means that they think in pictures a bit like a movie script playing, and will not easily understand information that is written or spoken.

 

Consequently, appropriate Intervention Strategies ARE needed which ARE visual, such as PECS, Flash cards and social stories.

 

Unlike typically developing children a child with an ASD will not readily accept changes or transition and can become stressed and overwhelmed by tasks, skills and activities the rest of us think of as “everyday” or “normal”, like for example brushing your teeth, visiting a dentist, getting a haircut, recess, respecting personal space, making friends and so on.

 

Social Stories ARE perfect Intervention Strategies which were first introduced by therapist Carol Gray twenty years ago to help her communicate with the autistic children she was working with. Today Social Stories ARE used not only to HELP autistic children master communication skills both verbal and non-verbal but also to HELP children on the spectrum learn new skills, cope with changes to routines, transitions and encourage positive behaviours.

 

Social Stories USE visual images LIKE A VISUAL PLAN OR ROLE MODEL to describe a situation or skill in terms of relevant “social cues”, like a comic script conversation.

 

A social skills story is normally written in first person text and in a manner that children on the spectrum WILL BETTER understand.

 

Social stories break the skill down in to smaller sections the relevant “social cues” removing the fluff and un-necessary language, in a set formula of 4 main sentence types: Descriptive, Perspective, Directive and Control sentences.

 

Intervention Strategies such as a social skills story should answer the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of those around them, which WILL HELP to reduce stress and confusion.

 

For example a social skills story written to help explain the need to brush your teeth would explain visually and with first person relevant text the “wh” questions why and how as well as what the consequence of not brushing would be – tooth ache etc. This story may start something like this:

 

It is important that I brush my teeth twice a day, I can brush them every morning and before I go to bed at night. 

AND SO ON…

To learn more about HOW YOU CAN HELP Children with ASD need social skills teaching USING methods like social stories visit sites such as: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

Teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

For children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) lacking appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills is an issue. This lack or verbal and non-verbal communication skills is mainly due to the social impairments, often referred to as social skills deficits, which are a common symptom of autism.

There is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, but there are treatments of autism which can help overcome the hurdles thrown up by an individual’s social impairments. Although communication difficulties are a common symptom of autism, many parents struggle to find appropriate methods that will help their child learn verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Social interactions can be difficult for children with ASD. Lacking the appropriate skill to be able to read another persons facial expression or body language can be a huge hurdle and undoubtedly lead to social misunderstandings.

All children with autism spectrum disorder experience difficulties with the appropriate use of language. For example they may have difficulties with intonation, rhythm, and word and sentence meaning.

Sometimes kids with ASD may mimic certain things for example scripts from the T.V like commercials, or shows that are of interest to them, they may repeat a line from a book, radio show or song and continually want to repeat this phrase.

Other kids with ASD may have phrases that they use in situations, for example some children with autism spectrum disorder may introduce themselves at the beginning of conversations, or introduce their parent each day at the start and end of school.

Many parents, care givers and teachers look for ways to teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism.

 

Research suggests that using social stories to teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism will help with their child’s communication issues.

Undoubtedly your first step will be to consult a speech and language pathologist to have your child’s communication skills evaluated.

Using social stories to teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism spectrum disorder has been proven to be successful. Social stories are short descriptive visual step by step plans that show in clear no frill detail the skill or behavior being mastered. So for example with communication difficulties a parent may introduce an appropriate social story showing the child with ASD how this can be achieved helping to make them more comfortable in and with the skill or situation.

To learn more about social stories and how they can be used to help children with ASD learn social and communication skills and behaviors effectively. Plus get immediate downloads visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills