Archive for the ‘autistic repetition’ Category

Autism Social Stories - autism self-injurious behaviour

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Self-injury is probably one of the most distressing and difficult behaviors that any parent, carer, family member and autistic person can be faced with.

Mostly the causes of this behavior are quite complex and the level of risk to the autistic person’s safety and well-being can at times be quite high.

Normal behavioral intervention is not always appropriate; but it is generally felt that professional help should be sought to help deal with this problem.

What is self-injurious behavior?

Sometimes referred to as self-harming behavior, self-injury takes many different forms, such as:

  • head banging (on floors, walls or other surfaces)
  • hand or arm biting
  • hair pulling
  • eye gouging
  • face or head slapping
  • skin picking, scratching or pinching
  • Forceful head shaking.

Autistic people who have complex needs and who have concurrent learning disabilities are more likely to engage in severe self-injurious behaviors.

However, people across the spectrum and of all ages may engage in self-injurious behaviors at some point.

Individuals who engaged in self-injurious behaviors as children may return to these as adults during times of stress, illness or change.

Causes of self-injurious behavior

The reasons a person has for engaging in self-injurious behavior, is almost always found to be varied, and will involve numerous different factors.

For example an Autistic child may have begun head banging as a form of sensory stimulation (stimming, repetitive behavior) at first, and has now learnt that the head banging is a way to avoid certain situations.

Hitting the face or head may initially have been a response to earache or maybe toothache. Which may have led on to being a way to have wants or needs met.

Some possible causes that should be considered when thinking about self-injurious behavior:

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you should consider when dealing with self-injurious behavior, is there a possible medical or dental problem that the Autistic individual may be having.

Autistic people may have some difficulty in telling others that something is wrong physically and some self-injurious behaviors (such as ear slapping or head banging) may be their way of dealing with pain or communicating discomfort.

Here are some examples of medical and dental problems which may be expressed through self-injurious behavior:

  • Some illnesses such as: colds, flu, viruses or infections such as sinus, ear or urinary tract infections.
  • Pain such as: earache, headache, toothache, pre-menstrual tension
  • Seizures, some types of epilepsy
  • General feelings of being un-well such as: rashes, constipation, indigestion, heartburn, flatulence.
  • There is also research to suggest that there may be some connection between types of self-injury and tic disorders plus compulsive behaviors.

If your autistic child is using self-injurious behaviour and you need help, visit us now at



…To obtain excellent social skills stories which will help your child understand and control behaviors. Studies prove social skill stories are an excellent tool in helping autistic children better cope with confusing and often stressful situations…helping you to cope with their often aggressive and sometimes self-injurious behaviour.


For all your autism social skills stories visit



Autism learning skills

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

What is meant by autism learning skills?


There are several methods through which we learn:

Through seeing (visually)

Hearing (auditory),

Touching or manipulating an object (kinesthetically or ‘hands-on’ learning).

An example of these would be, looking at a picture book or reading a textbook, this would be visual learning. Listening to a c.d., or going to a lecture this would be learning through hearing…and pressing buttons to determine how to operate a DVD involves learning kinesthetically, through touch and feel.

Mostly we learn through two or more of these learning skills. How we learn will determine how ell we do at school.

Most mainstream school adopt all of these learning methods, we visually learn through reading books and texts, we learn through listening to out teachers and we practice tasks to learn.

With autistic children they will nearly always be visual learners. Some autistic children will also be kinesthetic learners and may well benefit form their teacher or helper actually guiding their hand while they undertake tasks.

Therefore, it is important that a teacher assess each autistic child in the class to determine which kind of learning skill they prefer. The teacher can then adapt the teaching style to suit the autistic child’s need’s and build on their strengths.

However one very important thing to remember when assessing an autistic child is their need for repetition and sameness. Keeping this in mind when setting lessons will be of benefit.

A visual timetable should always be in place for the autistic student to refer too.

As with a normally developing child autism learning skills, can be enhanced by following these simple rules. Another good idea is to set up autism social skills stories

These help keep the autistic child on task, and work as an excellent tool in helping teachers explain why, what and how to their autistic students.

Using autism social skills stories will benefit the autistic student as they will encompass all autism learning skills, they can be read, auditory, they have appropriate pictures and images plus some text, visual and they can be handles kinesthetic, or used as a visual aid with attachable pictures etc…

…However you decide to use them they will nevertheless prove to be a valuable asset to autism learning skills.

To obtain school related autism social skills stories that can be downloaded quickly and effortlessly and are all in printable format please visit:

For all other autism social stories visit:

Autism Social Stories - Autism Social Training

Friday, October 24th, 2008

One of the biggest problems for autistic children is difficulty in social interaction.


This problem is heightened by their difficulties with speech and language. Autism also seems to create problems with the ability to mind read, or being able to tell or guess at what another person might be thinking.


Normally developing children will observe others and guess, through a combination of tone and body language, what the other person may be thinking or feeling.


However, with autism this naturally developed skill is missing and so the ability to predict what another is feeling or thinking is not there…


This lack of being able to mind read can lead to social mistakes even for those with high functioning autism….And of cause social mistakes may lead to the autistic person causing hurt feelings, asking inappropriate questions, acting oddly or generally open themselves up to hostility, teasing, bullying and social isolation.

Quite often parents and educators of children with autism feel unable to communicate and interact with their autistic child.

Sometimes the autistic child may appear not to hear what has been said to them, they will often fail to respond to their name and can sometimes be indifferent to any attempts of communication with them.

By careful observation it can often be determined which way the child communicates, in this ways the educator or parent can build on this strength.

For example, if the child is non-verbal, rather then communicating with them by using words, try using gestures. The child with autism may use some of the following to communicate: crying, taking the adults hand to the thing they want, looking at what they want, reaching, using pictures and echolalia.

Echolalia is the repetition of other people’s words and is a common with the autistic child. Some autistic children will constantly repeat a rhyme or something they heard on TV.

Echolalia is a good sign it means speech is developing, in time the child may repeat something that was said to them, like drink or toilet.

Developing communication with your autistic child will be a slow process, but eventually you will make progress.

Autistic children tend to be visual learners, using pictures and images is a good way to communicate what you are expecting of them or wanting from them.

For, example at dinner time a picture or image of the family sitting around the table and a plate of food will tell the child it is time to eat.

You can introduce social skills stories to help with this…A good well written social skills story will have high pictorial content as well as text.

These short pieces of text, normally one page long will have pictorial cues as to what is happening and what the child is expected to do. In time the autistic child will recognize the stories and will naturally re-act in the way the story intends them too.

For example…Dinner time a social skills story may have a picture of the family sitting around the table…a plate, cutlery, maybe a cup, some food…The adult can show the autistic child the story with the colorful images and they can then read the short descriptive pieces of text will pointing to the appropriate image.

…These autism social skills stories are normally printable so they can be used time and time again, in-fact they can be used for every situation you need help with.

These social skills stories can become like a best friend to the autistic child giving the clear and precise instructions of how to act in all situations, Plus they are a fantastic communication device for a parent-giving you the tools you need to help communicate with your autistic child.

To obtain downloadable autism social stories, visit: 

Helping your Autistic child deal with difficult situations

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Does your autistic child have problems with everyday social skills like going to the bathroom? washing their teeth? taking a bath?

Or even social situations, like family gatherings? visiting Grandma?…

Can you remember the last time you happily set off out with your autistic child and was not worried about what was round the corner, eating out, or shopping?

Are you moving house? is someone having a baby? got a new car? got a new dog? has something or someone died? did you get new neighbors?

The list is exhaustive, for us these things although sometimes they come as a shock we cope, we talk to our loved ones and we deal with things.

For an autistic person any slight deviation from their normal habits or routines can really throw them and cause a real panic!

To us this is odd, but to them the way we act is just as odd, if not odder! An autistic mind does not function in the way our minds do. We take in information or events, our minds and brains then logically sort and deal with the issue. In an autistic mind… this just does not happen.

A normal everyday situation to us can be a real anxiety trigger to an autistic mind…they will be thrown into a state of panic and find things to much to cope with.

An autistic person’s life…is like living in a box, everything inside the box is the same the walls are even straight and don’t ever change, you know where you are, you know what to do, it is all even and repetitive this is the reality of being to an autistic person’s mind.

That just isn’t what real life is like, so we need to look at ways to meet in the middle, find an easy ground, find a solution, to help the autistic person cope and deal with our lives and the real world.

One such solution comes in the format of autism social stories…These easily adaptable autism resources have been used for many years by autistic specialists, teachers and parents of autistic individuals to help them find real solutions and coping strategies for those situations, tasks and events they are struggling with.

Autism  social stories can be implemented both in the home and school to help manage, teach and control autistic behaviors and issues.

For immediated download of these excellent autism resources and to start with autism social stories visit:

Or one of these other sites: