Archive for the ‘characteristics of autism’ Category

How do Social Stories Help Children with Autism Learn Social Skills?

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder find social skills difficult and confusing this is due to their autistic deficits

What are Autistic Deficits?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder which affects how an individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts. The characteristics of autism are deficits in social, communication and imagination skills.

Typically children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures, therefore Visual Supports are of more benefit.

Visual Supports like social stories are used as a means of communication and as a method of support when teaching and re-enforcing skills and behaviours that the ASD child is finding difficult.

So: How do Social Stories Help Children with Autism Learn Social Skills

 

The answer is YES they can. Introduced around twenty years ago social stories are now one of the major Visual Supports used in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions.

Social stories are short descriptive pieces of text which use visual images to describe a situation or skill using appropriate key points. Much like a comic script the social skills story can be easily implemented and needs no formal training to use.

Social stories are a role model or visual step by step plan of a skill or situation. Social stories should follow a set formula of sentence type: Descriptive, Directive, Perspective and control sentences in a manner the child with ASD will be able to follow easily.

Typically a social skills story will answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give an insight into the thoughts and feeling of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with Autism.

Generally any treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder should be visual, easy to implement, and convenient for use in the home, as well as a t school and college.

A social skills story will help with transitions, changes to routines which is another area of difficulty for the vast majority of individuals with Autism, as well as learning new skills, changing behaviours, re-enforcing already learnt skills, in-fact almost all situations and skills the child with ASD is struggling with.

To learn more about how social stories are used, written and implemented visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

Teaching social skills for children with autism

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

There are various tools that can be used to teach social skills for children with autism, probably one of the most significant of these is the social skills story.

Teaching social skills for children with autism using social stories

Social stories are used as a tool for aiding communication and teaching social skills. The social skills story is typically written in first person text, always from the point of view of the autistic child, and will use images to help describe the skill or behaviour in terms of relevant social cues.

The social skills story will provide accurate information, with no hidden extras. Social stories for children with autism answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “HOW” and will offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most autistic children.

The characteristics of autism

A lack of appropriate social skills is one of the characteristics of autism. Many parents struggle daily to teach “everyday” life skills such as appropriate hygiene as well as other skills like making friends and social awareness skills to their autistic child.

Teaching social skills for children with autism using social stories is beneficial. The social skills story acts like a visual framework or visual plan of the skill, helping the child to understand what is happening, why and what is expected of them.

Download: social stories for autism

While many sites offer downloads of social stories for autism, they may not always be colourful, editable and easy to implement.

At http://www.autismsocialstories.com you will not only find downloads of 100’s of well written social stories, the social stories are also colourful, editable, convenient and easy to implement.

To learn more about social stories for autism and how they can benefit your child visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

Strategies to teach children with autism

Friday, August 20th, 2010

A child with an ASD will not intentionally cause stress or upset anybodies feelings. A child with an ASD will not misbehave or harm simply out of fun or mischief.


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects the individual’s brain. Autism Spectrum Disorder 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 a child with autism 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.


These are not bad characteristics, just difficult to understand. However for parents with autistic children these common characteristics of autism can make life extremely difficult and at times stressful.


Strategies to teach children with autism social and communication skills and behaviours are useful, research does suggest parents report significant improvements in social behaviours.


Having the ability to socially interact and communicate both verbally and nonverbally is a naturally learnt ability in typically developing beings. These skills however are missing in autistic children and need to be taught directly.


Using strategies to teach children with autism such as social stories does show vast improvements in social and communication skills. Social stories are short descriptive stories like a social script or framework for the skills or behaviour needing to be taught.


Using visual images which most autistic people find easier to understand and first person text the social story breaks the skill down into relevant social cues and shows the individual with autism spectrum disorder what to expect and what others will expect from 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 using strategies to teach children with autism like social stories will help your child visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Or any of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Autism and brain development and how it affects learning

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects four times more males than females. Some research suggests autism caused by genetic factors that interfere with normal brain development, or environmental factors, such as the effects of pollution or the damage caused by viruses. However how autism is caused is still under research. Autism Spectrum Disorder is normally detected in children before the age of three and is a life long condition.

 

No two people are ever the same and this runs true with Autism Spectrum Disorder which affects individuals in various ways. However the characteristics of autism are generally grouped together and called the triad of autistic impairments. Every individual with ASD will have to varying degree’s the triad of autistic impairments.

 

The triad of autistic impairments means difficulties with three areas of development; social communication, social interaction and imagination skills and behaviours. Probably the most apparent of the characteristics of autism is the way a person’s ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally with others is affected.

 

So when considering autism and brain development and how it affects learning it is beneficial to remember all individuals with autism will have marked difficulties with communication both verbal and non-verbal skills.

 

An Individual with ASD will have difficulties understanding things that we probably take for granted like jokes, metaphors wit and slang, this form of communication may be indecipherable to an individual with ASD. It is suggested that using visual cues such as flash cards and social stories can help overcome this hurdle. You should also try to adapt how you speak, speak less and be more direct, don’t use metaphors or slang and say exactly what you mean.

 

Therefore with autism and brain development and how it affects learning can be aided using visual cues. An autistic person is far more likely to respond to visual cues like flash cards and social stories rather than written or spoken information or instruction.

 

One of the primary worries for many parents with autistic children is how their child will learn play autism spectrum disorder affects a person’s ability to use their imagination. This makes play difficult for autistic children and in a lot of instances a child with ASD will simply prefer to line up their toys or arrange them in certain ways rather than play with them.

 

Many autistic children may also develop ritualistic behaviours and become obsessive about certain things or objects this can take different forms from obsession with a TV character to train timetables.


Generally social skills stories and flash cards can help the child with ASD understand play skills effectively, as well as how to make and maintain friendships.

 

Social skills stories are short descriptive visual role model of an activity, situation or skill that the child with ASD is struggling to understand, finds stressful or simply can not cope with. The social skills story will also help with transition, and other skills such as hygiene, sharing, taking turns calming down and so on.

 

A social skills story can be edited and personalized to suit individual children specific needs. Most social stories are visual with images and first person text.

 

To finds out more about flash cards or social skills stories and how they are to help children with ASD as well as how they affect autism and brain development and how it affects learning visit:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Children with autism and finding friends

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life.

 

Autism spectrum disorder affects the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Making life difficult for children with autism and finding friends.

 

Children with autism display deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication, social, imagination and interaction skills and behaviors.  Typically children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to communicate with others and relate to the outside world and will often be described as being in a “world of their own”  In some children with autism spectrum disorder, aggressive and sometimes self-injurious behavior may also be present.


The symptoms and characteristics of autism may present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, ranging from mild as with aspergers to severe or low functioning autism.

 

Although the symptoms and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder are generally recognized by a certain set of behaviors, children with autism will exhibit various combinations of these behaviors dependant on the degree or severity of their diagnosis.  

 

Consequently, no two children regardless of diagnosis will ever be the same and may act very differently from one another and display varying skills and behaviors. This complex set of symptoms and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder make finding and maintaining friendships difficult.

 

Generally all autistic children will be visual learners and will gain a better grasp of learning life skills like making friends easier when the skills is taught using visual supports for autism such as social stories for autism.


Many parents realize that using visual supports for autism can impact on a better grasp of our world and how to interact affectively, giving the autistic child a better chance of social acceptance and less chance of social mistakes and blunders.

 

Developed almost twenty years ago to teach social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to autistic people the social skills story has evolved, and is reported as one of the most significant resources used today, to teach, and enforce, important life and living skills and behaviors to autistic people.

 

Sites offering information on how to use the social skills story to teach vital social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to those with autism can be found readily, one such site offering explanation and downloads of social stories like children with autism and finding friends is:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com These social stories for autism are written by an expert in autistic behaviors and can be downloaded immediately.

 

Other internet site’s offering downloads of social stories for autism are:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

 

 

What are the physical characteristics of autism?

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

There are not any outward physical characteristics of autism, you would probably not be able to look at a person and immediately notice that he or she is autistic?


That is until you try to communicate with that person. Generally, the first sign that a person is autistic is when he speaks or when he won’t make eye contact.

 

Maybe some of the physical characteristics of autism could be classified as repetitive or stereotypical movements, for example finger flicking, hitting their desks, or tapping a pencils.

 

While these actions in themselves aren’t an indication of autism, if the action is repetitive to the point of annoyance for those around them, with the person being oblivious to the irritation they have become to others.


Some of the more common signs of autism are:

 

* Poor upper body strength

* Low facial muscle tone

* Sometimes pale skin

* Repetitive stereotypical movements, such as head banging, finger   flicking, rocking etc.

* Impaired motor skills (motor and fine)

 

Research continues into this complex disorder, there are some rough guidelines established for identifying the physical characteristics and behaviors that could indicate the possibility of autism.

 

These are by no means complete lists and in all cases if autism is suspected a diagnosis of autism should be sought from a professional such as the child’s G.P. who will be able to advise you on the possibility of autism and refer you on to a specialist.

 

Other signs of autism in preschool children can include:


  • Shying away from physical closeness or cuddles
  • Treating people in the same manner as objects
  • Either lack of crying or excessive crying
  • Repetitive stereotypical movements or obsessive play with one item or toy
  • The need for routine without exception

 

After a diagnosis of autism there are specific treatments that can help with the symptoms of autism such as lack of verbal and non-verbal communication skills and social, imagination and interaction skills deficits.

 

One treatments used for almost twenty years by parents of autistic kids is social stories. Designed by therapist Carol Gray they were first introduced to help parents of autistic kids and professionals involved with the care and well being of autistic children to teach them appropriate social skills and behaviors.


Since there first introduction social stories have evolved into one of the major tools used for teaching social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to autistic children. They use visual representations and appropriate text to describe in detail giving key focus to the social cues the autistic child needs to learn the skill or behavior being mastered.

 

Parents of autistic kids and professionals such as teachers use social stories widely to help autistic children find clarity, learn and re-enforce vital, everyday and occasional skills they struggle to master or understand.

 

For example, tooth brushing, using the toilet or learning what is death, birth, a wedding or other skills such as claming down, asking questions and making friends.


To understand more about how social stories can help alleviate the symptoms of autism associated with the physical characteristics and behaviors of autism and develop vital social and communication skills for your autistic child visit one of the following sites:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com


http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school