Archive for the ‘autistic student’ Category

Helping students with autism integrate

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Typically students on the autism spectrum WILL HAVE social and communication deficits.

These deficits ARE common to autism and affect how the child processes information, thinks, acts, re-acts, interacts, communicates and behaves; this is known as social skills deficits.

No two students on the autism spectrum will ever be the same and thus will display differing social skills deficits.

However although there is no known cure for autism spectrum there are various treatments and supports for autism which can are excellent for helping students with autism learn to overcome their social skills deficits and reach their full potential.

Helping students with autism integrate in to the classroom can be achieved using treatments and supports for autism like picture communication cards, flash cards, PECS, visual social story cards and social skills stories.

All of these can be implemented easily and need no formal training to use. Typically teachers and parents CAN USE supports such as social skills stories and picture communication cards equally as well in the home and the classroom/school.

Social skills stories were developed around twenty years ago to aid communication in children with autism, today they are used for much wider issues and behaviour difficulties.

For example a social story can be used to help with situations like visiting a dentist, what to do at recess, asking questions, joining in play, calming down and so on…

The social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, why, when and where 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 individuals.

Social skills stories ARE always written in first person text and from the point of view of the autistic student and WILL be in a manner that the autistic student can understand.

Typically most students with autism WILL be visual learners; which means that teaching styles which allow for this WILL be better understood. For example USE images, pictures, graphs and so on TO SHOW the autistic student what it is you are trying to get across.

Helping students with autism integrate in to the class is no easy task but with forward thinking and the use of visual information such as picture communication cards to highlight areas, tasks, rules and so on and social skills stories to teach social interaction and communication skills your task WILL BE a whole lot easier.

For example: picture communication cards can highlight the coat peg, pencil draw, bathroom, snack time and so on. They are also used as a means of communication – a card can be exchanged for a reward, behaviour etc…

To learn more about social skills stories and picture communication cards visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Alternatively you can learn more about autism social stories and picture communication cards from http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

Nuturing social skills in autistic children

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Social skills can be hard to understand for many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with many parents find it difficult to teach every day social and communication skills.

 

Cosequently, social skills stories have become an excellent tool for teaching many essential and non-essential life-skills. Research suggests that parents feel that teaching a child with autism social and communication skills is a primary focus.

 

For students with autism “fitting in” to mainstream classrooms can be challenging! An autistic student displaying social skills deficits will probably find it hard in a mainstream classroom unless he/she is taught appropriate social and communication skills. Research suggests that successes in teaching an autistic student social skills can increase self-confidence and understanding as well as boost the autistic student’s attention span and general behaviour within the classroom, which can all help the student with autism reach his or her full potential.

 

We can conclude from researc and studies into Autism Spectrum Disorder  that nurturing social skills in autistic children is beneficial in helping the child to “fit in” socially and reducing anxiety and stress.

 

Originally social skills stories were developed to help with communication difficulties in children with ASD. However, today they are used more widely as a strategy in teaching autistic children social and communication skills thus addressing their social skills deficits.

 

A social skills story can act as a role model, showing and the skill or situation being addressed in smaller easier to understand pieces. This is a proven strategy in teaching autistic children. A social story is a short descriptive story describing using images and text a particular social skill being acted out (modelled).

 

The social skills story shows the skill from the child’s point of view in small easy to follow pieces. Using visual images the social skills story shows a step by step plan answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what and HOW) as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, much like reading a script of the skill, this is allowing the child with autism to rehearse the skill.

 

A social skills story can also be used to help with transitions, changes to routines and other less common situations. Using the same formula social skills stories will help parents and teachers nurturing social skills in autistic children effectively.

 

To learn more about how social stories help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to  learn social and communication skills visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Social stories for students with autism

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

For many students with autism probably the biggest issue both at school and home is a deficit of social and communication skills.


For many teachers teaching social and communication skills to their autistic student can become their primary focus. With successes in teaching social skills comes greater confidence, which in turn leads to positive results in other areas of the classroom for the autistic student.


Research shows that social skills stories increase the autistic students knowledge of social and communication skills, which they struggle with like for example, asking questions, making friends, how to cope with recess, assembly and so on.


The social story provides the student with ASD information, the social cues and the perspective of others this is an area of weakness for the student with ASD.

 

Developed twenty years ago to aid communication skills, social stories are probable today one of the major tools teaching social and communication skills and behaviours.

 

Social stories for students with autism should be visual. Most children on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners meaning they think in pictures, making this strategy beneficial.

 

By using visual images a social story acts like a role model or visual plan of the situation, skill or activity the student with ASD is struggling with. Answering the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what the social story also provides the “how” and gives an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others all helping to reduce anxieties and confusion.

 

Printable and editable social stories for students with autism can be downloaded from

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Communication difficulties in child with autism

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Common to individuals with autism are social skills deficits. Having social skills deficits can make communication difficult for a child with autism.

As typical beings we communicate both verbally and non-verbally daily. Communication is a major skill, we naturally learn. For individuals with autism however the ability to communicate is affected, having ASD can make an individual react and interact in a very different manner to typically developing beings.

For a child with an ASD expressing their needs or wants, can quite often be misunderstood. For example: In the classroom; A child with autism may not typically ask for a drink when they are thirsty, they may for example snatch the drink from another person, simply take the drink without asking or maybe they will shout out etc., this is typical to autism.

 

Normally all adverse autistic behaviour will happen for a reason an internal or external factor, not simply out of mischief or the desire to be awkward or naughty.

Research shows us autistic children are generally visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures. Therefore when teaching or caring for a child with autism it is usually best to use visual tools and supports when you are trying to get information across or tackle an adverse autistic behaviour. 

 

Research shows a child with autism will be less confused when the information presented to them is visual.

Understandably many teachers especially those teaching in mainstream education are little prepared to teach a child with autism. The English language is predominantly verbal, and this is the main focus in mainstream education. However with an autistic student this method of teaching is not always going to be affective.

With a poor attention span and communication difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal communication the autistic student may struggle with lessons which are primarily verbal or written.

A lack social skills and communication difficulties can make it problematic for autistic children to make and maintain friendships, and generally “fit in” socially.

Using visual support tools for autism such as social stories; WILL help to improve communication difficulties in a child with autism.

Using visual supports tools for autism within the classroom and at home can help the child with an ASD focus on the skill or situation that they are struggling with. A social skills story can show the child with an ASD a visual step by step plan or framework of what is expected of them and what they can expect from others.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) helping the autistic child feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

Developed almost twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray to help her communicate with the autistic children she was working with, the social story has now evolved into a significant tool used by parents and teachers to help them improve communication difficulties and social skills in their child with autism.

To find out more about social stories and how they help improve communication difficulties in a child with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Other sites offering social stories to improve social and communication skills for the autistic student can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Strategies used for motivating students with autism

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder. The disorder is characterized by a set of symptoms known as the triad of impairments, these are:

 

Social interactions skills deficits

Communication skills deficits

Imagination skills deficits.

 

This triad of impairments or social skills deficits as they are more commonly referred to are common to all individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder).

 

Therefore students with autism will almost certainly display social skills deficits.

The autistic student will have social skills impairments which can affect their ability to communicate with and understand others.

 

The autistic student will lack social interaction and flexibility skills, preferring set patterns and routines, this inability to be flexible can cause stress and anxiety if routines are changed even slightly.


These social skills deficits can make understanding communication and social skills in the classroom and around school difficult for the ASD student.


It is true to say that individuals with ASD cannot easily behave in a typical “more normal” way. An autistic student will not purposefully disrupt the class; all autistic behaviour happens for a reason an external or internal (illness) factor.


It is these external and internal factors that trigger a negative autistic behaviour through sheer frustration with situations and with other people.


Teaching the ASD student is difficult. Strategies can be put in place that can help deal with the affects of the student’s social skills deficits, which can help the motivation and behaviours displayed by the ASD student.

Strategies used for motivating students with autism can include visual schedules, PECS, flash cards, autism symbols and social skills stories.


For the majority of students with autism a combination of all these autism resources is favourable. However for many students with autism probably one of the most useful autism resources available is social skills stories.


Social stories as strategies used for motivating students with autism are short visual strategies used to show a skill or situation that the student is struggling with. Using visual images and first person text the social story is used like a role model of the skill or situation. Detailing the skill by giving the student with autism the relevant social cues, answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) and giving an insight into the emotions, thoughts and nonverbal communication shown or felt by others.


Easy to implement, personalize and with no formal training needed to use social skills stories are used widely in the classroom for dealing with issues such as staying on task, calling out, asking question, recess, P.E. lessons and so on.

 

To learn more about autism resources and strategies for motivation students with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

OR

 http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Other autism resources such as autism symbols and flash cards are found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

And social skills stories can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com


Building social skills in autistic children

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Social skills are difficult to understand for many children with ASD, and parents find teaching every day social and communication skills challenging. The social skills story has become an excellent tool for teaching those valuable skills.

 

Quite often teaching a child with autism social and communication skills can become a primary focus for many parents and teachers of autistic students.

 

An autistic student with social skills deficits will struggle in a mainstream classroom unless their taught appropriate social and communication skills. Success in teaching an autistic student social skills can increase self-confidence, understanding, the autistic student’s attention span and general behaviour within the classroom, which can all help the autistic student reach his or her full potential.

 

Research into autism has shown us building social skills in autistic children is beneficial if the child is to “fit in” socially with their peers.

 

Social skills stories were designed initially to aid communication deficits in children with ASD. However, today they are used more widely as a strategy in teaching autistic children social and communication skills thus addressing their social skills deficits.


A social skills story is much like a role model, this has been prove a successful strategy in teaching autistic children. A social story is a short visual story that describes with images and text a particular social skill being acted out (modelled).

 

The social skills story shows the skill from the child’s point of view in small easy to follow pieces. Using visual images the social skills story shows a step by step plan answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, much like reading a script of the skill, this is allowing the autistic child to rehearse the skill.

 

A social skills story can also be used to help with transitions, changes to routines and other less common situations. Using the same formula social skills stories will help parents and teachers with building social skills in autistic children effectively.

 

To learn more about how social stories can help a child with autism learn social and communication skills visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Or

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

 

 

 


Prognosis for autism

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010


It would not be fair to assume how an individual child will develop and grow.  It is a fact that all children will grow irrespective of their personal circumstance or educational ability.

 

Therefore the prognosis for autism remains the same, research suggests around 1 in every 300 children will receive a diagnosis of autism with approximately 30% of these children that receive a diagnosis of autism will be classified as high functioning or asperger children.

 

No matter what the prognosis of autism is diagnosed for your child all children with autism will display social skills deficits, the severity will depend largely on the individual child.

 

Children with autism spectrum disorder have a normal life expectancy and in a lot of cases will lead a relatively normal life, once their social skills deficits are addressed sufficiently.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a life long condition and a diagnosis of autism will not be cured or outgrown.

 

For many children with autism spectrum disorder a lack of social skills can be challenging and cause great anxieties, especially for those children opting for mainstream education. A typically developing child may not truly understand autism and what the condition is all about; therefore this can lead to bullying in some cases.

 

It is a good idea if you are opting to place your autistic child in mainstream education that you make certain the appropriate autism classroom accommodations are set up and that teachers and pupils understand autism and what the condition is all about, this will reduce anxieties and stress for not only the teacher, you and your child.

 

Teachers can use autism classroom accommodations such as visual support cards, visual schedules for autism, social stories and other autism treatments to ensure a positive learning environment for the autistic student.

 

The prognosis of autism in the classroom is very good with high functioning autistic students generally having average or above average intelligence. However it is fair to say that the concentration span of the autistic student may be somewhat shorter that a typically developing student.

 

There are methods that teachers can introduce that will help the autistic student concentrate better and understand school rules. Probably the most significant autism tools for this are social skills stories for students with autism. These are designed to help the student with autism understand what is expected of them in school and lessons as well as what they may expect from the teacher and other pupils.

 

Normally social skills stories for students with autism are written by experts and will follow a pre-set formula which was first used almost twenty years ago. Since then social skills stories have become one of the most significant autism tools available and are used with great effect in the classroom and home of the autistic child.

 

A social story is a short visual script much like a comic strip, that details a skill, situation or behaviour that the autistic child is struggling with for example, recess or assembly the social story will break the situation down into understandable chunks and use appropriate first person text and visual images to explain and answer the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) helping the child with autism grasp what is happening, what is expected of them, suggest possible outcomes and allow the child to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

Sites that offer social skills stories for students with autism can be found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Alternatively other sites offering social skills stories for children with autism spectrum disorder can be found at http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.org.uk

http://www.autismsocialskillsstories.org.uk

http://www.autismsocialstories.co.uk

Autism within the classroom

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Over recent years there has been a marked increase in special needs children being educated in mainstream schools. This increase means teachers are faced with new challenges to meet the needs of the special needs children in their classrooms. For many teachers the needs of special needs students can be quite challenging and up to 75% of mainstream teachers lack appropriate training and many lack constructive support.


The internet has become a good place for teachers to find alternative strategies that can help serve a diverse range of individual needs within a regular classroom environment. Such strategies are especially necessary in dealing with children with autism.

 

Some children with autism are high functioning and will have average or above intelligence. However those children with low functioning autism may also have other learning difficulties.

 

Generally special needs students with autism will struggle to express their needs, or when they do not understand something. For many special needs students with autism asking questions and understanding school rules can be frustrating and difficult, this may cause some students with autism to become anxious and stressed.  This lack of understanding is due to the student’s social skills deficits, this is common to autism.

 

Teachers can help special needs students with autism address their social skills deficits and help them cope better within the classroom and school through the use of visual support cues for special needs students.

 

For example, placing a visual support cue over the bathroom with the word written out clearly and a picture of a toilet will help the special needs student quickly identify the bathroom without feeling anxious.

 

Teachers are also finding benefits in using visual support cues such as social stories to help the student with autism understand and deal with situations and skills or behaviours that they may be struggling with, such as recess, assembly and joining in with classroom activities etc.

 

Social stories can be used a visual tool in the classroom for almost every situation the special needs student is finding difficult, teachers can use the internet to download social stories for students with autism

 

A social story is a simple short descriptive story that uses visual images and short pieces of text. The social story breaks the situation or skill being dealt with down into relevant cues and explains the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why ans what) as well as giving the autistic student an insight into the thoughts and emotions of others and what others may expect of them.

 

So for example if an autistic student is struggling with school assembly a social story would be implemented that helps the autistic student understand when assembly will take place, who will attend and why, as well as what they should expect will happen and how they will be expected to act during assembly.


The social story will take away any anxious feelings that the student with autism may have surrounding assembly.

 

To learn more about how social stories can benefit the special needs student with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

OR http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Alternatively for all other social stories visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Teaching Autistic Students Using Social Skills Stories

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Probably the most significant difficulty for autistic students is their social skills deficits. Many teachers of autistic students report that teaching social skills to their autistic student can quite often become the primary focus. For many students with autism lack of social skills in the classroom can lead to social misunderstanding, isolation, bullying and stress. Consequently many teachers of autistic students feel teaching autistic students social skills can lead to positive behaviors, inclusion and confidence in the autistic student.

 

Therefore teachers of autistic students turn to techniques such as social stories to teach their autistic students vital social and communication skills. Social skills stories focus on a particular social situation or interaction. For example transition into a new school or class, meeting a new person, recess even assembly all examples of situations within the school day that an autistic child may struggle with, but with the use of social skills stories can learn to cope with and master.


Social skills stories are a very effective autism tool used to teach social skills to autistic children. The social story should give the autistic child exact no frills information about a social situation or behavior that they find confusing or stressful. The goal of a social story is to describe in precise detail giving clear focus to the key points of the skill being taught.

 

Therefore teachers of autistic students agree using social stories can help alleviate many “meltdowns” teach appropriate behaviors and generally help calm stressful and confusing times for the student with autism. Always written following a set pattern and using appropriate first person text the social skills story can help the autistic child comprehend and master any skill or behavior they may be struggling with. The social story uses visual images or pictures to help describe the skill, generally most children with autism are visual learners and find following visual cues and prompts easier than oral or written information.


An example of using social skills stories, typical scene “before social skills stories”

It is time for assembly the whole school will be there. You know what will happen it happens often your student will be overwhelmed, over stimulated, stressed and confused. He will become agitated and upset, other children may laugh and become distracted. You will be stressed, you may be able to clam him but more often than not you will need to remove him from the assembly.

 

An example same event; “using social skills stories”

It is time for assembly the whole school will be there. You know what will happen it happens often your student will be overwhelmed, over stimulated, stressed and confused. But this time YOU have a social skills story, You can read and share the social skills story before assembly, this time your student with autism knows what will happen, what to do and how to act, he is prepared and calm, YOU can relax and enjoy the assembly.


During assembly he begins to feel uncomfortable, you read him the social skills story or he can read it himself to re-enforce his behavior, this clams him and de-stresses him again. No meltdowns, tantrums, confusion or stress.


This is just one simple example of using social skills stories. A social story can be implemented for teaching social skills to autistic students easily and effectively.


For more information and immediate download of social stories used for teaching social skills to autistic students visit either:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

Other social stories to teach social skills to autistic children can be downloaded from:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

Visual supports for autism

Monday, March 23rd, 2009


We all use visual supports each day, we look at the newspaper, we read a magazine. Watch TV, the news, the internet and so on all these are visual supports they are things we visually look at to get information.

 

When we travel we might look at a map or tele-text, these are also visual supports.


We need visual supports to function at our best we need them for instruction, work, recreation and education…


…Have you ever considered a life without visual supports or prompts? Imagine no TV no internet no newspaper no books and so on, how boring that life would be and how out of touch with what’s happening around us we would get?

 

Autistic people are often referred to as being in an “autism own world”, they lack interest in what’s happening around them. But they will still need visual supports for autism.

 

The visual supports for autism will include things like visual timetables, mini schedules, Now and Then and choice boards, emotion, flash and PECS cards as well as social skills stories and other visual supports for autism, like file folder games and so on..

 

Autistic children are visual learners and will benefit from visual cues, prompts and instruction far more than from written text and long verbal sentences where they can become easily distracted and lack interest.

 

Therefore a good starting point for all autistic educators is setting up visual aids for the autistic student.

 

All autistic children will respond better to visual lessons; the autistic educator should try and keep this in mind when preparing lessons for the autistic student.

 

Another good rule would be to have autism resources in place like visual timetables, mini schedules and other valuable autism resources like social skills stories vital in helping the autistic student understand what is happening and also good for keeping the autistic student on task.

 

The internet has now made it possible for autistic educators and parents to access suitable autism resources easily.

 

Suitable autism resources like social skills stories play a vital part in the lives of autistic individuals.

 

..And now anyone working or caring for an autistic individual can download and find social skills stories on any topic, activity, social skill, event etc that the autistic individual is struggling with making life a whole lot easier!

 

Follow any of the links below to download suitable social skills stories for all autistic individuals as well as suitable social skills stories for autistic students.

 

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com/potty

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

www.autismsocialstories.com/valentines_day

www.autismsocialstories.com/mothers_day

 

 

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