Archive for June, 2010

Autism and Social Skills

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Most individuals with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) find social situations very difficult. As typically developing individuals we learn social skills instinctively from our family, teachers, peers and general environment.

 

Unfortunately individuals with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are not able to instinctively learn social and communication skills and can sometimes be the subject of jibes, social mistakes and blunders due to their lack of appropriate social and communication skills.


Social stories are used as a treatment of autism to help children with autism spectrum disorder learn and develop an understanding of social and communication skills.

 

Social stories are used by parents, care givers, teachers and other professionals working or involved with children with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

 

Social Stories were originally developed by therapist Gray to help her communicate with the autistic children she was working with, today social skills stories are used more widely as a means of developing social understanding and addressing communication difficulties.

 

A social story should introduce appropriate social knowledge, using first person text and visual images to describe the social situation or skill. It explains the how’s and whys of a social setting by answering the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what.


A social story should be made up of four different sentence types, descriptive, perspective, directive and control sentences.


Generally children with an ASD are visual thinkers and learners which means they think in pictures. Therefore when teaching an autistic child it is generally easier to make information as visual as possible, that way the child will find the information easier to understand.

 

This is why a good social story will give information through pictures and first person text, each social story provides clear, concise and accurate information about what is happening in a specific social situation. The social skills story acts as role model for autistic children, helping them understand and cope with social situations and address communication difficulties effectively.

 

To learn more about autism and social skills, as well as how social skills stories can help children with an ASD visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

For information on autism and social skills, as well as downloads of social stories visit any of the following sites

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Address healthy hygiene habits in teenagers with autism

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Many parents of teenagers with autism worry that they will not “fit in”. This worry is heightened by the autistic teenager’s difficulties in mastering hygiene skills and routines, especially hygiene issues with autism puberty, such as autistic girls and menstruation.

Hygiene skills are essential life skills but for many autistic teenagers developing healthy hygiene habits can be challenging. Consequently direct teaching of healthy hygiene habits in autism is essential.

For many parents of teenagers with autism puberty can be very stressful, parents look for ways to explain puberty and teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism. Parents turn increasingly towards autistic supports such as social skills stories, designed to help them deal with this challenging period in their child’s life.


Social skills stories were first developed as a means of communication, but soon grew in popularity and use. Today social skills stories are used more widely to teach social, imagination and communication skills and behaviours as well as a means of communication.


Using appropriate language and visual images, social stories are used as autistic supports for individuals with an ASD and related conditions. The social story provides the teen with autism with a role model of exactly how to master the situation or skill.

 

The social story answers the “wh” questions ~ who, where, why, what and when as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others. Concentrating on the main key points and cutting out all the frills, individuals with an ASD respond well to autistic supports such as social stories, which relieve anxieties and make the teen with autism more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

Consequently many parents of teenagers with autism use social skills stories to teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism.

 

Parents of autistic teens implement social skills stories to help with autistic hygiene issues such as:


*autism and going to the bathroom

*puberty and autistic girls

*autistic teenage hygiene ~ using deodorant

*autistic girls and menstruation

 

*taking a shower

 

*taking a bath

 

As well as addressing healthy hygiene habits in teenagers with autism, social stories also help to teach many autistic hygiene issues, all relevant to a healthy lifestyle.

 

To download social skills stories for addressing healthy hygiene habits in teenagers with autism as well as overcoming healthy hygiene issues in autistic teenagers you can visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

 

From this website you can now instantly download 20 social skills stories for healthy hygiene issues in autistic teenagers and children.

 

Other social skills stories for autistic teenagers dealing with autism puberty, school, friendships and other related issues are found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

 

Social stories on other social and communication difficulties can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

 

Overcoming social skills issues in children with autism

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Children with autism do not develop socially in the same manner as typically developing children. ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) is a neurological disorder affecting the way an individual’s brain develops

 

Children with an ASD have difficulty making friends and getting on well with their peers.

 

A child with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is far more likely to enjoy unusual interests not shared by their peers, for example an obsession with train timetables, clock mechanisms etc. This can in some cases cause the child to become socially isolated and unable to integrate fully with their peers.

 

All children with autism will have social skills deficits. However the individual’s social skills deficits will vary between children with an ASD, as no two children will ever be exactly the same.

 

Having social skills deficits can make it hard for children with autism to understand how other children are feeling, their emotions, they will be unable to read the other child’s body language or facial expression.

 

Overcoming social skills issues in children with autism can be difficult. However with time and perseverance, as well as autism supports like social skills stories this can be achieved.

 

What are social skills stories?

 

A social story is a short story that has been written in a specific style and format. A social story gives information through visual images and text, providing clear, concise and accurate information about what is happening in a specific social situation.


The social story answers the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what. Showing visually what people do and why they do it, like a role model for the child with an ASD. This can help relieve anxieties and stress that can surround some social situations, for example making friends, asking questions, sharing, taking turns even respecting personal space, in-fact most social and communications difficulties can be addressed using social skills stories.


In fact the social skills story acts as a prompt for socially acceptable behaviours and can help the child with autism understand situations and skills and show them appropriate responses.

 

The social skills story can help the child with autism prepare for routine changes and new situations, which can help reduce negative reactions and behaviours which stem from a lack of social understanding.

 

Overcoming social skills issues in children with autism using social skills stories has already proven successful, today social stories are considered one of the major autism supports and are widely used in homes, schools, colleges and out and about.

 

To learn more about autism supports such as social skills stories visit sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills where you will also find a vast selection of social skills stories which can be downloaded.


Other sites of interest are:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Children with Autism need social skills

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder of the brain which affects the way a person interacts and communicates with others.

 

Interestingly, almost four times more boys than girls are diagnosed with autism. Children are generally diagnosed with autism by three years of age.

 

The term “Autistic Spectrum Disorders” encompasses the many varying degrees of autism, from low functioning autism where the child will almost certainly have other difficulties such as seizures and in most cases educational deficits also. On the other end of the “Autistic Spectrum Disorders” scale – Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism, where the child will almost certainly be of average or above average intelligence.

 

It would be very wrong of us to categorise all children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorders into the same category. As with typically developing children all children with autism develop at varying degrees and no two children will ever be exactly the same.

 

However that said, all children on the spectrum will have social skills deficits. These are common to autism, social skills deficits affect the way children on the spectrum develop socially, as well as their communication skills and imagination skills.

 

Having social skills deficits can mean your child with ASD may be unable to communicate effectively, they may find making friends difficult and become stressed in social settings.

 

For many parents their child’s inability to relate or interact with other people can be stressful. Coupled with their child’s communication difficulties and odd use of language can leave many parents frustrated and needing help to teach their child appropriate social and communication skills and behaviours.

 

Children with Autism need social skills teaching directly, it is of no use to simply explain what your child should be doing, this will not help. Typically children with autism are visual thinkers and learners, meaning spoken or written information is not going to be understood as easily as information given visually.

 

So what does this mean for the child with ASD, well put simply talk less and use more visual supports when trying to teach an ASD child social and communication skills.


Children with Autism need social skills as much as everyone else does to help them function. A good source of visual supports are social stories, these treatments of autism have been around for around twenty years and are today probably the most significant treatments of autism used when finding means to teach an ASD child social and communication skills.

 

Social stories are short descriptive stories much like a comic script with visual images showing a skill or behaviour in a manner that is easily understood by children on the spectrum.

 

The social skills story breaks down the skill, such as respecting personal space, washing your teeth, taking a bath, eating dinner even visiting the dentist into small chunks, removes the frills and shows with visual images and first person direct text.


Explaining the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what, as well as giving an insight into emotions, thoughts and feelings of those others involved, and suggest possible outcomes.

 

As well as detailing what to expect from others and in return what they expect in return from the child, all helping to make the child with ASD more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

To learn more about how social skills stories work as well as get access to downloads of social skills stories visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

Where you will find stories for hygiene issues, play, family matters as well as some stories for the classroom and out and about.

 

Alternatively visit sites like http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

 

 

Visual supports used for autism

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Visual supports can be used to help children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), visual support tools for autism should be adaptable, portable and easy to implement for most situations.

 

For the majority of us visual prompts are an everyday part of our lives, for example we read newspapers, the internet, T.V. guide, a recipe, road signs, maps and shopping lists. Our visual prompts provide us with information and knowledge, without visual prompts we would not function as well.

 

We know from experience and extensive research that most autistic individuals are visual learners and thinkers.


Therefore presenting information in a visual manner will help us to teach and encourage the skills and behaviours those children with ASD struggle with like: communication difficulties, social interactions, imaginative play, making friends and so on.


By learning appropriate social and communication skills YOU can help your autistic child reach his/her full potential, promote independence, build confidence and raise self-esteem.

 

Consequently, many parents, care givers and teacher think visual supports used for autism in the home, classroom and college such as social skills stories help promote and teach those vital everyday and less common social and communication skills we as typically developing beings learn naturally.

 

Visual supports used for autism such as social skills stories present information visually through images and short pieces of appropriate text, almost like a comic script. A social story is used a s a role model or visual plan of the skill, situation, behaviour or communication difficulties and will help guide and explain the autistic child what he/she can expect.


The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and emotions of others. Social skills stories are implemented easily and need no formal training to use, learn more about social skills stories by visiting http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Where you will gain immediate access to 100 social skills stories as well as find support.

 

Other sites that offer social skills stories can be visited at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Types of social stories for autism

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Social stories were originally developed twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray to help with the communication difficulties she encountered while working with autistic children.


Today social stories are used more widely to develop and teach social and communication skills as well as encourage positive behaviours.

 

There are various types of social stories for autism ranging from stories to help with personal issues in teenagers to potty training stories for toddlers.


Generally children with autism are visual thinkers and learners and respond better to visual information, rather than written text or information given orally. Research suggests it is because of this social stories work so well.

Social stories present information visually through images and small amounts of appropriate first person text, almost like a comic script. The autistic child is able to follow and use, much like a visual plan, or role model of the skill or situation that they maybe struggling with.

 

Unlike a typically developing child that will learn social and communication skills naturally an autistic child will struggle to understand or pick up on social cues, such as body language and facial expressions. This lack of social and communication skills can often lead to social mistakes and blunders.

 

However using autistic child as a means of teaching social and communication skills to children with autism is a proven technique. Various types of social stories can be used at any one time for example a child may need help in the classroom to ask questions as well as at recess, P.E. lessons and assembly all these situations are dealt with using social stories.

 

At home the child may need help with personal issues like using the toilet, eating with the family and so on again various types of social stories for autism are used.

 

Social stories are normally written by experts in autism and will generally follow a set formula of four different sentence types: perspective, directive, control and descriptive sentences.

 

A social skills story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, when, what and why) as well as giving the child with autism an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others. The social skills story may suggest possible outcomes and give positive encouragement to the child with autism.

 

Not all social skills stories will be perfect straight away and may need tweaking to suit individuals, no two people will ever be the same.

 

Social skills stories should be colourful, editable and printable to make them easy to use and convenient. To find out more about the various types of social stories for autism and to get downloads of various social skills stories for autistic children visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

 

Autism and Social Skills Teaching

Friday, June 11th, 2010

For many parents having a child diagnosed autistic can be a real shock. Having a child diagnosed autistic is more common than you probably thought with 1 in every 150 babies born being diagnosed autistic.


Having a child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is not going to be easy. Generally children with autism will display social skills deficits, their autism symptoms. Some children with Low functioning autism may have other developmental issues such as little or no speech, seizures and educational difficulties.

 

With autism symptoms such as high functioning autism and asperger syndrome a child will have average or above intelligence, however their speech may still develop slowly but will develop.


A common thread that is shown in all children with ASD is their social skills deficits.


Having social skills deficits will mean your child will have deficits in

Social interaction skills

Communication skills both verbal and non-verbal

And Imagination skills

 

For some parents coping with their child’s social skills deficits can be very stressful, finding appropriate resources and help to address these issues can also be confusing and difficult.


There are treatments for autism, which help address social skills deficits effectively. Strategies and treatments for autism such as social skills stories help parents, care givers and teachers cope with and address social skills deficits.


Children with autism spectrum disorder tend to be visual thinkers and learners, which means that they find information and instruction easier to understand if it is presented visually rather than by text or spoken.

 

Therefore social skills stories which are used as visual role models can be easily implemented and used with good effect. There is no formal training needed to use social skills stories, they can be personalized, printed and used to teach or re-enforce social, communication and imagination skills and behaviors.


For many parents of children with ASD a major area of concern is their child’s difficulties with social development, for example parents of children with ASD worry their child will struggle to make and maintain friendships and generally “fit in”.

 

For a child with ASD social, communication, imagination and interaction skills, are not learnt naturally, these skills need to be taught directly. Consequently, autism and social skills teaching using visual supports like social skills stories is beneficial.

 

Research shows us visual supports for autism and teaching social skills using social skills stories as a strategy has grown over the last twenty years into one of the major treatments for autism used today.

 

Autism social skills stories are short, descriptive visually rich pieces of text which follow a set formula, using appropriate language autism social skills stories are used affectively as a tool for teaching and re-enforcing important social skills and behaviors to those individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

 

Giving key focus to the vital points the social cues autism social skills stories are much like a comic strip, showing a detailed visual step by step plan of the skill or behavior being taught or re-enforced.

 

For immediate download of autism and social skills teaching stories that will help you teach and re-enforce social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to your youngster visit one of the following sites where you will find autism social skills stories and visual support cards for children and young people with ASD written by experts in autism ready to be downloaded and used:

 

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

 

Help to overcome social and communication difficulties in autistic child

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is one of the biggest childhood disorders. As awareness of the condition increases, researchers are seeing an increase in the number of children receiving an early diagnosis of autism.

 

What is Autism?

 

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a lifelong disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to the people around them. An autistic child will have difficulties developing friendships and will have communication difficulties, a limited understanding of language and an inability to relate to others, or read facial and body language.


Some autistic children may have accompanying learning disabilities. All children with autism spectrum disorder have impairments in social interactions, communication and imagination. This is known as the triad of impairments, or social skills deficits.

 

Signs of what is autism?

 

Children with autism spectrum disorder will almost certainly exhibit a range of behaviours. Probably the most prominent behaviours shown will be a difficulty relating to others and making friends; communication difficulties, some autistic children may never develop speech; and an inability to engage in imaginative play.

 

Other signs of autism include obsessions, fears, a lack of awareness of danger, ritualistic play and behaviours for example spinning or lining up objects, twirling and hand flapping, inappropriate eye contact, hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.

 

It is important to remember that a child displaying these behaviours may not be autistic.

 

Many parents look for help to overcome social and communication difficulties in autistic child.

 

Research into ASD concludes the majority of children with autism are visual thinkers and learners. Consequently, resources that can help address a child’s social skills deficits or the triad of impairments are normally visual tools.

 

Therefore, help to overcome social and communication difficulties in autistic child concludes using visual tools such as social skills stories, PECS, flash cards and other visual resources are beneficial.

 

Social skills stories are short visual stories, used to detail a skill or situation the child with ASD is struggling to master, for example making friends, imaginative play, sharing, asking questions, taking turns etc.


Developed almost twenty years ago social skills stories are used as a role model, or visual plan of the skill or situation, using visual images and short pieces of first person text to describe the skill or situation in a manner the child with ASD will understand.

 

To learn more about social skills stories and how they can be used to help overcome social and communication difficulties in your autistic child and get immediate download of social skills stories for children with autism spectrum disorder visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Motivating a child with autism spectrum disorder

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Motivating a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not going to be easy. By definition a child with autism will almost certainly have a restricted repertoire of interests and skills as well as difficulties with social interactions, imagination and communication skills.

Many parents will struggle to teach social and communication skills to their child. But without planned, positive experiences, and resources that are designed to help teach appropriate skills and behaviors many children with ASD often become victimized by their autism as they age.

Strategies that support motivation for individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder should include visual supports such as social skills stories, PECS and  flash cards.

Generally children with autism spectrum disorder tend to be visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in images or pictures, which makes understanding oral or written instruction or information difficult for them.

Therefore motivating a child with autism spectrum disorder is better achieved when visual supports are implemented. Many strategies that support motivation for individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder are now available from sites like http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Parents do not need any formal training to use social skills stories or flash cards, these visual strategies are easy to implement and used successfully both in the home and classroom.

Social skills stories are probably one of the major tools used to help teach and motivate children with autism spectrum disorder. Since their development twenty years ago social stories have grown in popularity and are now readily used by parents, teachers and professionals caring for special needs kids with autism and related conditions.

Developed by therapist Carol Gray social stories are short visual strategies that detail skills and situations the child with autism is struggling to master or understand. Using visual images and first person text the social story acts as a role model or visual plan answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) as well as giving the child with autism an insight into how others are thinking and feeling.

 

To learn more about how a social story could help your child visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com where you will find detailed information on social stories and how they can be used to teach and motivate children with autism.

 

Other sites of interest include:

 

Flash cards can be found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

 

 

 

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