Using visual supports for autism

Typically children with autism ARE visual thinkers and learners which means that they think in pictures and that speech/language is secondary.

It is therefore believed that for children with autism information and teaching that is VISUAL WILL be far easier for them to understand.

 Using visual supports for autism is therefore beneficial. There ARE various supports for autism, but probably the most significant ARE social stories, PECS, communication picture cards, visual timetables and so on…

Using visual supports for autism WILL help you to teach social skills and address communication difficulties as well as helping to OVERCOME many of the difficulties the child with autism is struggling with.

Social skills stories ARE an important visual intervention strategy which was first introduced around twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray to help OVERCOME communication difficulties for children with autism.

Since then the social story has developed and is now probably the most significant support for autism. The social skills story WILL help address the child’s social skills deficits.

All children with autism HAVE social skills deficits these ARE common to autism, but will vary between individuals. Social skills deficits affect how the child with autism processes information, acts, re-acts, behaves and thinks as well processes sensory stimuli and sensation.

The social skills story is a short descriptive piece of text that can act like a visual plan or framework of the skill detailing visually what is happening and what the child with autism CAN expect.

A social skills story WILL always be written from the child’s own perspective and WILL normally always be written in first person text. The social skills story should break the skill into smaller sections much like a comic script and answer the “wh” questions  – who, what, where, why and when as well as “HOW” and provide the child with autism an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most kids with ASD.

Typically social stories are written in word format which WILL make them easier to personalize and edit, no two children are ever going to be the same and we all USE different terminology with our kids, therefore the need for editing is important.

For kids with ASD social awareness skills ARE difficult to master but by using visual supports for autism this can be addressed quite simply, which CAN help the child on the spectrum feel more comfortable with and in situations that they would once struggle with.

To learn more about how kids with ASD can cope with social awareness skills using supports for autism such as social stories and communication picture cards visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocalstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting a Teenager with Autism

Autism is a disorder that affects approx 1 in every 150 people born. The symptoms of autism include: social awareness deficits, communication deficits, imagination deficits, in many stereotypical behaviours and in most autistics sensory processing issues.

The teenage years are for the majority of us our most social years. But for teenagers with autism the teenage years can be stressful and confusing. During adolescents we develop socially what we say and how we act becomes important in the eyes of our peers.

So how do you cope if you don’t really understand the added pressure being an adolescent can bring with it?

Supporting a teenager with autism is very important especially during puberty.

For many teens with ASD using visual supports is beneficial. Typically those with autism ARE visual thinkers and learners, therefore visual supports ARE easier for the teen to understand.

Visual supports have been around for a long time and have been proven to work very well for those with autism. There are many different autism supports such as: social skills stories, PECS, flash cards, visual timetables and so on.

Today I am going to concentrate on probably the most significant of the autism supports – social skills stories for teenagers with autism.

Characteristically social stories ARE used to teach and re-enforce skills and behaviours that the person with autism is struggling with. For example a teen with ASD will have social awareness deficits, which could result in social isolation and misinterpretations of activities or events.

Social stories act like a visual plan or framework of a skill or behaviour that needs teaching or re-enforcing. The social story will break down the skill or behaviour into smaller easier to understand sections, using first person text and visual images / pictures it will describe the skill or situation from the child’s own perspective.

So for example during puberty our bodies develop and we need to be aware of personal hygiene – a social story can  help explain the need for this, as well as help re-assure the teen with ASD that what is happening to their body is perfectly normal.

The social story for teens with ASD should answer the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “how” and provide an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others which is an area of marked weakness for those with autism.

A social story for teens with ASD should help pave the way for positive behaviours, help with transitions, changes to routines, self – help skills, social awareness deficits, communication deficits and so on.

To find suitable social skills stories for teenagers with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

Or http://www.autismsocialstories.com