Autistic Spectrum Disorder Interventions

Intervention strategies ARE mainly used to help OVERCOME the deficits and abnormal behaviours often displayed by children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Interventions CAN help increase the quality of life as well as help the autistic child reach his / her full potential. Interventions ARE typically tailored to individual needs, for example a non-verbal autistic child may find PECS and picture cards more suitable, while a verbal autistic child may find social stories more beneficial.

Studies show that Intervention strategies ARE beneficiaul to ALL children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder once the correct strategy is in place. For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on social stories and communication picture cards.

Social stories ARE one of the most significant Intervention strategies that has been introduced over the last twenty years. The social story is a short almost comic like description of a skill or behaviour that is broken down in to smaller easier to understand sections.

For example: most children with autism struggle to hold and start conversations, this can have a knock on affect and the child may struggle to amke and maintain friendships. A social story can act as a visual framework or plan and break down the steps needed to approach and ask another child to play, reducing stress and anti-social behaviours.

A child with autism is typically a VISUAL learner, this means that they will find visual information easier to use, with speech / language as secondary, thus social stories ARE commonly VISUAL.

Using visual images / pictures the social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and whay as well as “HOW” and will give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most children with autism.

Characteristically social stories ARE written in first person text and will always be from the autisic childs own perspective. The social story should be editable and easy to personalize as no two individuals will ever be the same and we all use different terminology with our own child.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Interventions like communication picture cards (flash cards) ARE typically used to help with communication difficulties. For example a non-verbal autistic child can have a selection of communication picture cards enabling them to communicate their own needs. At snack time the child may wish to have an apple for example so will give the teacher the card showing an apple in return for the card the teacher will give the child the apple and so on…

The communication picture cards can have a variety of uses – on visual timetable, now and next boards, choices boards, displayed around the home and classroom as a reminder for example of where the toilet is, coat pegs and so on. The communication picture cards ARE also used for communication the teacher can show the child with autism what is expected of them for example – recess, assembley etc by pointing to a picture card, giving the child a gentle prompt as to what is happening or about to happen, again reducing stress and confusion.

To learn more about social stories and communication picture cards and to see an example visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills