Archive for the ‘autistic children’ Category

Strategies that help autistic children

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of developmental disorders such as autism, atypical autism, high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Strategies that help autistic childrenGenerally a child with autism will have social skills deficits in social interaction skills, communication skills and imagination skills. Some children on the autism spectrum may also have difficulties with sensory processing issues, for example – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

Difficulties in these areas mean that a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will probably have difficulties understanding and following instructions.

A child with autism may understand simple commands but may have difficulties with long or complicated instructions.

For many children on the autism spectrum shifting their attention from one activity to another can be difficult and cause anxieties, generally an autistic child will need time to process given instructions.

For parents and teachers this can be frustrating, however repeating the instruction is not going to help, this will just add to the child’s anxieties, the more you talk the more pressure the autistic child is going to feel under and the more confused they will become.

All autistic children will struggle to understand spoken or written instruction this is mainly due to their social skills deficits which as we learnt earlier are common to autism. Communication difficulties are probably one of the major struggles parents face with their child.

For children with autism communication difficulties are common, a child on the spectrum may fail to recognise nonverbal communication such as facial expression or body language and may not recognise nonverbal communication such as gesturing or pointing etc.

However there are strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills.

For example PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are all strategies that help autistic children learn vital every day and less common social interaction skills, address communication difficulties and help develop imagination skills.

The purpose or goal of a social story is to provide the child with autism with a prompt for socially appropriate behaviour, help them become familiar with a situation, and to respond appropriately.

The social story is also used as a transition tool, helping the child with autism move on, help prepare them for a new experience, change to routine and prevent negative or inappropriate reactions that stem from a lack of social understanding.

A social story is a short story that has been written in a specific style and format. That uses visual images much like a comic script that gives the child with autism information through pictures and text providing clear, concise and accurate information about what is happening.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions ~ who, what, why, where and when as well as giving an insight into the emotions, thoughts and feelings of others and giving appropriate responses to social skills and situations the child with autism may otherwise be struggling with or may find confusing.

To obtain social skills stories that are used as strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Children with autistic spectrum disorder will have social difficulties regardless of their age or ability; this is thought to be due to the ‘triad of impairments’ which are common to autism.

 

What is the triad of impairments?

 

Are social skills deficits in three main areas, social skills, communication skills and imagination skills; all children with autistic spectrum disorder will have varying degrees of social skills deficits.

 

Methods of addressing autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties in communication skills.

 

All children with an autistic spectrum disorder experience communication difficulties. Although language itself may not be affected the way the child expresses themselves and uses language will almost certainly be affected. As will the way the child uses non-verbal language such as gestures and signals.

 

For many children with an autistic spectrum disorder understanding language is problematic and is one of the major causes of autistic social difficulties.

 

Imagine being dropped in a foreign land with no means of communication, where everybody talked in a way you could not totally understand, this is what it can be like to be autistic and have communication difficulties.

 

What we do know for certain is that the vast majority of autistic children are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think and digest information easier if the information is visual.

 

Therefore, visual strategies which can enable autistic children to understand what is happening around them, what is expected of them or that they can use to express themselves should always be visual.

 

With autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties the most common visual strategies used are social skills stories, PECS, flash cards and other visual strategies such as visual timetables, choices boards and mini schedules etc.

 

Developed twenty years ago social skills stories ARE a major tool for autism that can be implemented and used to address many social skills deficits.

 

Social stories are a major tool for autism which needs no formal training to use, can be edited and personalized.

 

A social skills story is a simple description using first person text and visual images or pictures of an everyday social situation, activity or event shown visually from the child’s perspective, much like a visual plan or framework and acting as a role model to the child.

 

For example, a social skills story can be used to help a child prepare for upcoming changes to routines, or learn appropriate social interactions for situations that they encounter.

 

The goal of the social skills story is to give the autistic child a chance to rehearse the skill, change to routine or behaviour making them feel more relaxed and less anxious. Then, when the situation actually happens, the autistic child can use the story to help guide his or her behaviour.

 

Research shows that using social stories can have a positive affect on autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties, giving simple and clear descriptions of social cues and appropriate behaviours.

 

Generally social skills stories should follow a set pattern of sentence type. All social skills stories should be flexible and be editable, as we all use different language and expressions.

 

To learn more about how social stories can help address autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

 

OR http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Autism and play in preschool children

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

In a study of preschool children with autism spectrum disorder it was found that this set of children were disadvantaged in the way they play.

Characteristically preschool children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to play as a normally developing child would. This lack of play skills can aggravate the child’s social isolation from their peers, and only underline their differences from other children.

So what is play?

  • Play should be fun and enjoyable.
  • Play should have no set goals imposed on it from outside influences; it should be imaginative and sometimes impulsive.
  • play should be spontaneous and voluntary
  • play should involve some kind of active involvement on the part of the player
  • play can be solitary or enjoyed with friends

The Development of play

Children’s play should go through a number of developmental stages

  • Sensory motor play, stimulation from objects, for example a baby gym.
  • exploratory and manipulative play, for example Lego
  • physical play including rough and tumble
  • social play, playing with their peers, playground play
  • pretend play or make believe

Why do children need to play?

Play allows our children to learn new skills and practice them in safe supportive surroundings.

Sensory motor play teaches babies and young infants about their own bodies and about objects in their immediate surroundings. The bright colored toys stimulate the babies mind and he/she will reach out to grab and explore the toy.

Manipulative and exploratory play teaches older infants about various objects, what they do; sound like, how they react together and how they influence the world they are living in.

Physical play, rough and tumble play, teaches toddlers and pre-school children some gross motor skills, which will provide them with the experiences of whole body interaction with others.

Social play is vast right from the mother and baby interactions to children’s make believe play, for example, playing mummy’s and daddy’s, which teaches children about social relationships in the world they live in.

Typically the autistic child on the other hand likes repetition and things to stay the same, and may display stereotypical, repetitive and stimming behaviors, mostly their play will be solitary.

Preferring their own company to that of others, an autistic child will find interactive, make believe play strange and may not understand the reasons for this kind of play.

So how do you help your Autistic child play?

One method it through direct teaching, typically children on the autism spectrum do not learn play skills naturally and like social and communication skills direct teaching is often needed.

One method of direct teaching for children on the autism spectrum is the use of social stories for autistic children.

Significantly social stories for autistic children can be implemented to help teach and re-enforce play skills and other skills the child with autism struggles with.

Social stories are short explanations using visual images, much like a comic script to detail the skill or situation from the child’s own point of view and in a manner that they will understand.

Social stories for autistic children follow set patterns, are generally easy to use and implement need no training to use and will be editable making them ideal for all.

To view and learn more about how social stories visit:

www.autismsocialstories.com