Archive for May, 2010

(ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder social skills lessons

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

It is not uncommon for individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) to display challenging behaviors and difficulties with social interactions and communication skills.


All individuals with ASD have social and communication deficits which are often referred to as the theory of mind, or “mind blindness”. Meaning they lack the ability to predict the thoughts, feelings and emotions of other people; which can lead to social mistakes or blunders especially in teenage autistic individuals.


Some of these deficits can include:

 

For the majority of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder probably one of the major difficulties they encounter the theory of mind is with initiating social interactions and responding to the social interactions they may receive from others.

 

Many children with autism spectrum disorder display difficulties engaging in joint attention, and have difficulties with skills such as sharing, playing, pretend play and taking turns etc.

 

Generally children with autism spectrum disorder lack being able to understand or demonstrate non-verbal social communication i.e. the “unwritten rules” of social interactions.


Teaching an autistic child to overcome their social skills deficits is quite often a struggle for many parents and teachers.

 

There are treatments of autism available which can help parents and teachers find suitable methods of tackling social skills deficits using visual tools such as social skills stories.

 

There is no need for any formal training or qualification to use social skills stories. And now with the internet and search engines such as google, many parents and teachers are now finding it a lot easier to source this effective resource.

 

Treatments of autism such as social skills stories are used effectively for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) social skills lessons.


Social skills stories are visually rich, easy to implement, can be personalized and printed. Following a specific formula they effectively teach social and communication skills to autistic children.

 

Generally autistic youngsters are visual thinkers and learners and respond better to visual information, making visual tools such as social stories an ideal tool.

 

Social skills stories are implemented to teach social and communication skills to autistic children around the house and school environment.


Using images and first person text a social story breaks the skill or situation the autistic child is struggling with into smaller pieces and uses the social cues to show in a visual framework the skill in an easy to understand visual format, like a role model for the autistic child to follow.


The social story can be personalized to suit an individuals needs.


Social stories for autistic children can be downloaded from sites like http://www.autismsocialstories.com.

 

All the social skills stories for autistic children on this site are professionally written and visually rich.

 

Other sites offering visual tools such as social skills stories for (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder social skills lessons and autism symbols cards can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

http://www.insideautisticminds.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

 

 

Teaching daily living skills in children with autism

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Research shows that children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures.


Therefore teachers and parents find that teaching daily living skills in children with autism spectrum disorder is much easier if visual supports for ASD are used.


Probable the biggest hurdle for children with autism spectrum disorder is their difficulty with social interactions, imagination and communication skills and behaviors.

 

These social skills deficit are often referred to as the triad of autistic impairments, which all individuals with ASD will have in varying degrees.

 

For the majority of children with ASD the triad of autistic impairments can make finding and making friends difficult. For a child with autism our world is confusing, we are on the whole socially orientated, so having a lack of social interaction skills can cause social mistakes and misunderstandings.

 

Consequently, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, care gives and teaches use visual supports for ASD such as social stories to assist them in teaching and re-enforcing social and communication skills and behaviors.


Social stories help develop social interaction skills, imagination, language and communication in children ASD. As well as encouraging daily living skills in children with autism. Social skills stories are also used to teach social skills such as hygiene, or behaviors such as making friends, personal space, visiting the dentist and so on…

 

Social skills stories are also useful in and around school. Developed twenty years ago to teach social and communication skills to children with autism, social skills stories are normally written in fist person text, following a set formula using visual images to show and explain the skill or behavior being taught or re-enforced.

 

Almost like a comic strip, the visual step by step plan will show individuals with ASD the what, why, where, when and who helping them feel more comfortable in and with the situation , activity, event or skill they are struggling to master.


To download and learn more about social stories for ASD and how they are used for encouraging daily living skills in children with autism spectrum disorder visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

For all other social stories for ASD visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

 

ASD – Autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

With an increase in the number of children being diagnosed with ASD, it is now recognized that autism spectrum disorders are more common in children than disorders such as diabetes, spina bifida, or Down syndrome.

 

All children diagnosed with ASD will have common symptoms of autism; these are known as social skills deficits or the triad of impairments.  A child’s social skills deficits are characterized by difficulties in:


Social skills development

Communication both verbal and non-verbal skills

Imagination skills

Interaction skills


These deficits are always present in children with ASD to varying degrees.


In addition to the triad of impairments or social skills deficits children diagnosed with ASD may also display sensory processing issues.


Probably the most noticeable of the symptoms of autism is an individual’s difficulty with social interactions. A child with autism spectrum disorder may have little trouble learning to read but exhibit extremely poor social interaction.


Typically a child with autism spectrum disorder will not follow the normal pattern of development. Generally parents of ASD children may have an idea that there is something not quite right with their child before their child is diagnosed with ASD.

 

For example from birth, typically developing babies are social beings. Early in life, they gaze at people, turn toward voices, grasp a finger, and even smile. However with ASD children this is not always the case.

 

Research suggests that although children with ASD are attached to their parents, the attachment is not typical and is difficult to read. For parents of ASD children, their child’s apparent lack of attachment can be upsetting and stressful.

 

Generally typically developing children have met all their milestones in communication by the age of three, however for most ASD children these milestones may pass un-met. Communication both verbal and non-verbal can prove difficult for ASD children.

 

Some children with autism spectrum disorder will never develop speech, or speech may be delayed. Generally all individuals on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners and benefit form visual aids that can help them learn social and communication skills.

 

For many children with autism spectrum disorder using visual aids that teach social and communication skills such as PECS, visual support cards and social stories are proving very beneficial.


For the vast majority of individuals with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching needs to be direct. For example making friends, for typically developing children this skill is learnt naturally. For an ASD child this skill does not develop naturally, although some children with autism spectrum disorder may wish to be social they do not know how.

 

Consequently, many children with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching is achievable by using visual aids like social stories. Since their development twenty years ago, social stories have grown into probably one of the most significant tools used for teaching and re-enforcing social and communication skills in children with autism and related conditions today.

 

Social stories are a role model that provide individuals with ASD a visual explanation in the form of a script, much like a step by step visual representation or plan of the skill or situation that he or she may find difficult, stressful or confusing.


Social stories use a specifically defined style and format. The goal of social stories is to describe accurately using first person language and social cues in a clear and reassuring manner that is easily understood by the individual with an ASD.


Giving the individual with ASD accurate information that answers the “wh” questions
(who, where, why, when and what)
as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others helping them manage and cope with the skill or behavior.

 

Social stories will help reduce anxieties and stress making them to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

For more information on social stories for autism and how they can help with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching visit any of the following sites where you will also gain immediate downloads of appropriate social stories for autism.

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

Teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

For children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) lacking appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills is an issue. This lack or verbal and non-verbal communication skills is mainly due to the social impairments, often referred to as social skills deficits, which are a common symptom of autism.

There is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, but there are treatments of autism which can help overcome the hurdles thrown up by an individual’s social impairments. Although communication difficulties are a common symptom of autism, many parents struggle to find appropriate methods that will help their child learn verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Social interactions can be difficult for children with ASD. Lacking the appropriate skill to be able to read another persons facial expression or body language can be a huge hurdle and undoubtedly lead to social misunderstandings.

All children with autism spectrum disorder experience difficulties with the appropriate use of language. For example they may have difficulties with intonation, rhythm, and word and sentence meaning.

Sometimes kids with ASD may mimic certain things for example scripts from the T.V like commercials, or shows that are of interest to them, they may repeat a line from a book, radio show or song and continually want to repeat this phrase.

Other kids with ASD may have phrases that they use in situations, for example some children with autism spectrum disorder may introduce themselves at the beginning of conversations, or introduce their parent each day at the start and end of school.

Many parents, care givers and teachers look for ways to teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism.

 

Research suggests that using social stories to teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism will help with their child’s communication issues.

Undoubtedly your first step will be to consult a speech and language pathologist to have your child’s communication skills evaluated.

Using social stories to teach conversational skill strategies to children with autism spectrum disorder has been proven to be successful. Social stories are short descriptive visual step by step plans that show in clear no frill detail the skill or behavior being mastered. So for example with communication difficulties a parent may introduce an appropriate social story showing the child with ASD how this can be achieved helping to make them more comfortable in and with the skill or situation.

To learn more about social stories and how they can be used to help children with ASD learn social and communication skills and behaviors effectively. Plus get immediate downloads visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Autism Spectrum Disorder goals for interaction

Monday, May 24th, 2010

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a neurological condition affecting an individuals social and communication development. ASD is characterized by the individual’s social impairments and ritualistic, obsessive behaviours.

 

A major issue in children with autism spectrum disorder is their communication difficulties, both verbal and nonverbal, these are common to ASD, and will affect how the ASD child interacts socially.


For an ASD child having communication difficulties can be stressful, often likened to being dropped in a foreign land with no conception of the language or customs.

 

Communication difficulties are common to ASD the child will have difficulties understanding verbal instruction and information, sarcasm, humour, wit and emotion etc. this lack of communication skill can often be misunderstood and may lead people to believe the child with ASD is rude or aloof.

 

The child with ASD may use words without attaching meaning to them. They may use echolalia, and have poor attention spans.


Many children with autism spectrum disorder will probably prefer to spend time alone rather than with others, will show little interest in making friends, and be less responsive to social cues such as eye contact or smiles.

 

Autistic individual’s social impairments can impact on how the child with autism will interact with others. Consequently, Autism Spectrum Disorder goals for interaction are based on the individuals strengths, which in most cases is visual.

 

Typically developing children learn social skills naturally through play, from their peers, parents and those around them. This ability is missing in children with autism spectrum disorder, making it necessary to teach social skills and social and communication skills directly.

 

Generally children with autism are visual thinkers and learners, which means visual information and instruction is far easier for them to understand. This concept is used in social stories which teach social skills and deal with communication difficulties.

 

Using visual supports like social skills stories for autism make autism spectrum disorder goals for interactions much easier. Parents of autistic children can determine which social interaction skills their child is finding difficult and an appropriate social skills story can be put in place to help them overcome this.

 

Many parents of autistic children use social skills stories to help teach social, communication, and imagination and interaction skills such as asking question, making friends, sharing, taking turns, respecting personal space and so on.

 

The social skills story is visually rich with short appropriate pieces of text set out in a specific format. Developed almost twenty years ago social skills stories are today one of the major autism tools used to help children with autism overcome social interaction and communication difficulties.


To find appropriate autism tools such as autism spectrum disorder goals for interactions social skills stories on topics like making friends, answering questions, appropriate touching and many more visit any of the following sites and gain immediate downloads:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

 

 

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

 

 

 


Social skills teaching to teenagers on the autism spectrum

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

All children with autism have social deficits in three main areas; social interaction, communication difficulties and imagination skills. Many will also display ritualistic and obsessive behaviours.

 

These social deficits will remain with your child into the teenage years; autism can not be outgrown or cured.

 

For the vast majority of us the teenage years are probably our most social years. For teenagers on the spectrum the teenage years can bring their own set of issues, with an increase in hormonal levels many teenagers on the spectrum may begin to suffer from seizures, this in-itself can cause major problems.

 

But add to that a changing body. Increased sexual desire and changing peer pressures, for autistic girl’s menstruation, the teenage years can be an anxious, confusing and stressful time for the ASD teen.

 

Puberty is not something that can be avoided just because you are on the spectrum, therefore various resources aimed at helping parents of autistic teenagers help their child navigate their way through the high’s and low’s of the teen years are available.

 

One such resource aimed at helping parents of autistic teenagers explain puberty, for autistic girl’s menstruation as well as hygiene and other age related social skills is social skills stories.


No doubt you are probably already aware of how good this resource can be and how affective.

 

Social stories can take the pressure out of social skills teaching to teenagers on the autism spectrum.

 

A social skills story is normally a short visual representation of the situation, skill or behaviour that needs addressing. The social skills story breaks the skill down into small pieces taking out the frill, and highlighting the social cues or prompts. By using visual images and first person text in a concise and clear step by step plan, the social story will act like a role model for the skill, situation or behaviour.

 

This allows the ASD teen to rehearse the skill making it feel more routine thus taking away any anxieties and confusion.

 

Social stories aim to answer the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving the teenager on the spectrum an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.

 

Research suggests that social skills teaching to teenagers on the autism spectrum using social skills stories is beneficial

 

Not all social skills stories will be perfect, as no two teens will ever be the same, and from time to time will need tweaking to fit the teen and their capabilities.

 

To learn more about social stories for teens on the spectrum visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

 

Other sites offering social skills stories for children with autism can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com


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

Teaching social skills to children with autism

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

For the majority of children with autism direct teaching of social skills is necessary. Unlike their typically developing peers children with autism do not naturally acquire social skills from people watching or the environment. For many autistic children the ability to understand and read subtle cues, facial expressions, verbal and nonverbal communication and people’s body language is missing, which makes interpreting meaning challenging.

Teaching social skills to children with autism can take many forms from PECS and visual flash cards to ABA and social skills stories.

For many parents of autistic children choosing a school is difficult. To attend mainstream education children with autism or asperger syndrome will need a certain amount of social skills. Inclusion in a mainstream school is often not dependent solely on the child’s IQ or intelligence. Many children with autism or asperger syndrome are capable of working at the required level, but are not being accepted into mainstream education due to behavioral issues or poorly developed social skills.

Teaching social skills to children with autism is not easy, for many autistic children understanding instruction is difficult. However there are certain treatments of autism which can help overcome this hurdle.

Generally children on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they will comprehend information or instruction easier if it is given visually, for example images or pictures etc. rather than written or spoken instruction.

Therefore teaching social skills to children on the spectrum can be achieved far easier using visual tools and methods such as visual flash cards and social skills stories, both of which are visual and are proven successful methods.

A good social story will focus on a particular social situation or interaction. Some examples of social stories would be assembly, sharing, taking turns, not shouting out, recess etc. These are all good examples of social stories. The social story serves a number of purposes. The most important aspect being that the social story provides the child on the spectrum with a role model, something to follow visually.

Social stories address the “wh” question (who, where, why, when and what) as well as give an insight into the thinking, emotions and actions of others. It will also explain the actions and reactions expected of the child on the spectrum. Social stories are generally written following a specific pattern and normally by experts although some parents have learnt how to write social stories themselves.

Not all social skills stories are perfect. It may well be that a particular social story does not have exactly the desired effect or address all the necessary elements of a situation. Be prepared to occasionally rewrite a social story to make it more effective.

To find out more about social stories and how they can be implemented for teaching social skills to children with autism visit any of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Social skills stories as a strategy to teach communication skills

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

What are Social Skills Stories?

Social skills stories are written following a set formula to describe a situation or skill by using appropriate social cues. The social skills story should describe what happens in a specific social situation in a structured and consistent manner.

The social skills story should be visual as most autistic are visual thinkers and learners and will respond better to visual information and instruction.

Therefore the social skills story should give information through images and text rather than auditory or just plain written text. Each story should provide accurate information about what is happening in a specific social situation.

The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, why, where, when and what) as well as giving an insight into the emotions and thoughts of others. The social story is used as a means of explaining visually how to behave in a socially acceptable way.

Using social skills stories as a strategy to teach communication skills

The goal of any social skills story should be:

  • To provide the person with social cues for situations or skills.
  • To help the person rehearse a situation, and to respond appropriately
  • To help prepare for routine changes or new experiences.
  • To reduce negative behaviour.
  • To help reduce social blunders caused through lack of social understanding.
  • To help address any communication difficulties

Therefore using social skills stories as a strategy to teach communication skills is beneficial.

Social skills stories address communication difficulties effectively by providing a visual framework to help the autistic person feel more comfortable with the situation allowing them to rehearse appropriate responses.

Social skills stories work because

They address the “theory of mind”. Many individuals with autism do not act appropriately in social situations because they do not understand that others might have a different opinion to them, they often fail to understand verbal and nonverbal communications such as wit and humour, or that others may want to do something different to what they want to do.

Consequently communication difficulties are common and social situations can become unpredictable and confusing. Social skills stories help individuals with autism read situations and skills better and therefore react and act appropriately.

To learn more about what are social skills stories and how they can help your child visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Overcome social and communication difficulties in children with autism

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder which is characterized by a set of symptoms known as the triad of impairments.

 

The triad of impairments, sometimes referred to as social skills deficits are developmental difficulties in social, communication, imagination and interaction skills. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will almost certainly also display ritualistic and obsessive behaviours.

 

It is because of their social skills deficits children with autism spectrum disorder have problems with social interactions and communication difficulties, which can at times cause stress and sometimes aggression.

 

Parents and teachers have found methods such as visual strategies that help overcome social and communication difficulties in children with autism such as visual flash cards and social skills stories are beneficial.

 

Developed twenty years ago as a means of overcoming communication difficulties with autistic children the social skills stories are now used for various situations or skills that individuals on the spectrum struggle with.

 

Skills and situations that individuals on the spectrum are struggling with such as social interactions, making friends, having conversations, asking questions can be addressed using visual strategies like social skills stories.

 

Social skills stories are used to address many of the triad of impairments or social skills deficits associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder and are now one of the major tools used in the treatment of autism.

 

Social skills stories do not need any formal training to use and can be adapted to suit all individuals on the spectrum. Social stories overcome social and communication difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorder by showing the autistic child a visual framework of the skill or situation that they are struggling with.


The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) and gives the autistic child an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions felt by others.

 

For information on how a social story can help your autistic child visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com and get downloads of social skills stories for your autistic child that will help you overcome social and communication difficulties in children with autism.

 

Other sites offering social skills stories can be found at:


http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Eating difficulties with autistic children

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Being a picky or fussy eater is not uncommon in typically developing children. But far more likely in children diagnosed with ASD (autistic spectrum disorders).

 

For most typically developing children picky eating is outgrown, but for children diagnosed with ASD their eating difficulties are often carried into adulthood.


Because eating difficulties with autistic children are quite often multi factorial it is advised that parents consult a dietician as well using other techniques to help encourage their autistic child to eat healthily and adopt better eating habits.

 

Many parents and dieticians use techniques such as social stories to help encourage positive eating habits in children with autism. Social skills stories are generally written by experts in autism and are used to help teach and encourage positive behaviours.


Social skills stories can encourage positive eating habits in children with autism by providing the child with a plan or visual framework which suggests and answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving the child an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others. Thus reducing any anxieties the child may feel.

 

Parents can use social stories for many different situations and skills, no formal training is needed to use social stories and various sites now offer downloads of appropriate social skills stories.

 

Sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com/diet

 

Offer an insight into the various dietary issues often experienced by children with autism as well as appropriate social skills stories for download.

 

 

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Building social skills in teenagers with asperger syndrome

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Probably the biggest issue that is faced by teenagers with asperger syndrome is their lack of social and communication skills.

 

Generally the asperger syndrome teen will want to be accepted by their peers, but a lack of social and communication skills makes this difficult, which can cause frustration for the aspie teen.

 

It is not lack of understanding that prohibits the aspie teen, in-fact it is believed that many teens with asperger can read social situations adequately, but do not have the skills to respond or know how to respond, leaving them frustrated and at times agitated, which can lead in some cases to depression.

 

Consequently, building social skills in teenagers with asperger syndrome has become a primary focus for many parents and teachers.

 

Like autism asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder with the triad of impairments social, communication, imagination and interaction skills being the issue.


As with autism asperger teenagers are normally visual thinkers and learners and will better understand information presented visually easier than that presented orally or in text form.

 

Therefore building social skills in teenagers with asperger syndrome can be best achieved visually, through asperger resources such as social skills stories.

 

Visual asperger resources such as social skills stories for asperger teenagers are implemented easily and can help the asperger syndrome teen understand and react in social situations much better thus reducing anxieties and frustrations. Clear and concise social skills stories are a visual framework of the social skill or behaviour which the aspie teen is struggling with and will help tp show them how to react and act and why.

 

A social story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions others may have, all helping to make the aspie teen more confident in and with the social situation.

 

To learn more about how a social story can help with building social skills in teenagers with asperger syndrome and get immediate downloads of various editable social skills stories for asperger teenagers visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

 

 


Using visual strategies for autism and preschool

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010


It is common for preschool aged children with autism to have difficulties moving on from activities or tasks. Generally all preschool aged children with autism will prefer routines and want things to stay constant and the same, without deviations or changes no matter how small.

 

The need for routine is common to autism and forms part of the symptoms of autism.

 

It is not uncommon for a preschool aged autistic child to get stuck on an activity especially if it interests them and teachers can have a difficult time trying to move the child onto the next thing. The preschool aged autistic child can become anxious even agitated or aggressive when the teacher tries to encourage them onto a new activity.

 

These difficulties can make the ever changing preschool environment confusing and stressful to the autistic child.

 

Research into how teachers can best cope within preschool suggests that using visual strategies for autism and preschool can be beneficial.

 

Using visual strategies for autism and preschool such as a visual schedule, flash cards, PECS and social skills stories are known to help teachers communicate and cope with the autistic child in their care.

 

Children with autism can become anxious when things change or they do not know what is happening, such as moving onto the next activity. By implementing a visual schedule the autistic child can see the days plan. Thus removing anxieties about what is happening, giving them information about what to expect now or next, therefore reducing the stress of not knowing.

 

PECS and flash cards can be used to help children with autism recognise areas for example the bathroom, sink, where the pencils are etc. A small picture is placed above the area showing the autistic child exactly where something is. Preschool aged autistic children can become anxious when things or places are not clear. A preschool aged autistic child is not inquisitive and will not look for the pencil draw for example.

 

PECS and flash cards are also used as a means of communication, for example a teacher can show the preschool aged autistic child a picture or image, for example of a drink to let the autistic child know it is time for a drink etc.

 

Children with autism will understand information far quicker and simpler if the information is visual. Try to talk less and use visual strategies as, children with autism think in pictures, they are visual thinkers and learners.

 

It is also recommended that teachers of preschool aged children with autism try using visual strategies for autism and preschool such as social skills stories. Teachers are able to share the social skills story with the autistic child to help them understand the “wh” question (who, where, why, when and what).

 

So for example if the preschool autistic child struggles to understand why Mummy leaves in the morning, the teacher or Mum may share a social skills story showing visually why Mummy goes, where she goes and when she will return, taking away the anxiety the preschool autistic child is feeling.

 

Another example would be snack time, a social skills story can show the child, when it is snack time, why the children have snack time, what they can expect to happen and how they will be expected to behave, again removing the anxiety.

 

These are just a few suggestions. To find out more about using visual strategies for autism and preschool such as PECS and flash cards visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

 

Social skills stories can be found at

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

OR http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

 

Visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism

Monday, May 10th, 2010

A major area of concern for parents with autistic children is getting to grips with their child’s social and communication difficulties. It is a fact that all children with ASD show marked developmental deficits in social and communication skills.

 

Lacking the ability to understand communication both verbal and nonverbal is difficult. It is a lack of appropriate communication skills that can lead to social mistakes, bullying and inappropriate behaviours.

 

For many children with ASD routines are important and can be a cause of stress when the routine changes even the slightest change can cause anxieties.


Many schools now recognise the need to teach students with autism expressive communication skills. But fail to help teach those students with autism to understand why we communicate and how communication can help us in our everyday lives.

 

Research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers and learners. This shows us that any information or social cues we wish to share with our autistic child will be better understood when the information is presented visually.

 

Consequently using visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorder has proven to be an effective means of helping children with ASD address their communication difficulties.

 

Visual strategies such as visual timetables, schedules, flash cards, PECS and social skills stories are all visual tools used for increasing communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorders.

 

Visual tools such as PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are important in helping your autistic child improve positive behaviours and independence, thus helping your autistic child to reach his or her full potential.

 

Looking at social skills stories as a strategy, introduced twenty years ago social skills stories are one of the major visual tools used today for improving communication difficulties. Difficulties such as asking questions, making friends, having a conversation, sharing, taking turns, saying Hi and so on…

 

A social story is a visual plan of a skill or behaviour the child with autism is struggling with. Using visual images and age appropriate first person text the social story breaks the skill or situation into small understandable chunks.  And answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what), as well giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, helping the child with autism to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

To find out more about visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism by using social skills stories as a strategy visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com