Archive for July, 2010

Teaching aids to teach autistic kids social skills

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Generally most autistic individuals will have difficulties with social interactions due to their autism social skills deficits.

 

Many autistic individuals also display difficulties with communication both verbal; delayed and awkward speech and language and nonverbal; understanding gestures, reading and interpreting facial expression and body language. Many autistic kids also display obsessive behaviours and repetitive stereotypical movements such as hand flapping or head banging.

 

Typically developing children will have the ability to naturally make friends, start a conversation, ask questions, share and take turns and so on just a handful  all social skills that are needed everyday.


However this is not the case with autism social skills are not naturally learnt and may need direct teaching. There are many ideal strategies to teach children with autism social skills, such as social skills stories and printable picture communication symbols.

 

Understanding the need for social skills is not a natural ability for most autistic kids, they may not understand what they are supposed to do or say and can become hurt and confused when their attempts at being part of a group are met with failure or ridicule.


Therefore finding strategies to teach children with autism social skills is beneficial. Sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com offer help and support as well as appropriate teaching aids to teach autistic kids social skills by using social skills stories as a strategy.


Let’s take a closer look at how social skills stories can help an teach autistic kids learn appropriate social and communication skills.


An autism social story is a short piece of text generally following a specific pattern of first person appropriate text and visual images or pictures in a framework or autism social skills plan.

 

The autism social story breaks down the skill or behaviour being taught or re-enforced into small chunks the social cues and shows the child on the spectrum the why and how explaining like a comic script by showing visually the “wh” questions: who, where, why, when and what and giving an insight into the verbal and nonverbal communications of others, thus reducing anxieties for the child on the spectrum.


So for example an autism social story for asking questions will show the child on the spectrum how to ask, when to ask, what is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to ask a question, how to begin the question and end the question and the possible answers they may or may not get and how to interpret these answers, this will reduce any fears and allow the child on the spectrum a chance to rehearse asking questions and build confidence.


Other teaching aids to teach autistic kids social skills such as printable picture communication symbols can be found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids


Printable picture communication symbols are generally small laminated pieces of card with a picture or image on and are used as a means of communication. For example a teacher can show an autistic child a picture when they wish to communicate something like for example recess or home time etc. The printable picture communication symbols are also used on visual schedules, now and next boards, choice boards and to accompany social skills stories.


To learn more about either of theses teaching aids to teach autistic kids social skills and other strategies to teach children with autism social skills visit any of the following sites:


http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Autism teaching aids and visual strategies

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

For children on the spectrum a lack of social and communication skills is common. Due to social skills deficits many children on the spectrum find the world confusing and stressful a lack of appropriate communication skills can mean a lack of friendships and in some cases bullying and isolation.

 

And for many parents teaching social and communication skills to their autistic child can become a primary focus.

 

Children with autism like structure and routines and can become frustrated and anxious when routines change, they dislike surprises and may display obsessive behaviours which can make the child appear odd or weird.


Consequently, because of these social skills deficits many parents and teachers struggle to find appropriate techniques and autism teaching aids that are easy to implement and suitable.


It is a fact that the majority of children on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners and will therefore respond better to visual strategies; such as a visual schedule, social skills stories, flash cards, PECS communication symbols and so on.

 

A visual strategy can be implemented to suit the individual needs of the autistic child. Many parents and teachers use a combination of visual strategies, all of which compliment each other.

 

No two autistic children will ever be the same and what works for one autistic child may not be suitable for another.


That said, the vast majority of autistic children use social skills stories as primary autism teaching aids to help them better cope with daily tasks and activities as well as the not so common activities and tasks.

 

Parents do not need any formal training or previous knowledge to use Autism teaching aids and visual strategies.


A visual strategy such as social skills stories can be used to help the autistic child learn social and communication skills that they may be struggling to master, like for example making friends, asking questions, respecting personal space, or less common activities such as going for a dental visit, visiting grand parents, a birthday party and so on.


For children with autism understanding our world is difficult, therefore addressing any anxieties they may have can help cut down on anxiety attacks, melt downs and negative behaviours.

 

Introducing a visual schedule will benefit your child, a visual schedule gives the child on the spectrum a step by step framework of the day’s activities using simple pictures or images, reducing surprises and giving routine to the day.


Social skills stories break down the activity or skill into small easier to understand pieces. Using visual images and pictures the social skills stories are visual strategies that show the child on the spectrum by answering the “wh” question - who, where, why, when and what, it will also give the child on the spectrum an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others why and how we undertake certain activities for example brushing our teeth, washing our hands, raising our hand to speak, recess and so on.


Flash cards and PECS communication symbols are visual strategies that can be used effectively with both verbal and nonverbal autistic children. They are universally used for visual schedules to accompany social skills stories, on now and next boards, mini visual schedules, choosing boards and as autism teaching aids.


Flash cards are small laminated pieces of card showing an image or picture some flash cards will also have a small piece of text saying what the picture is of for example, coat, toilet, pencil etc. The idea being the PECS communication symbols or flash cards be used to communicate with the child on the spectrum, they are used in various ways and settings.


For more information on autism teaching aids and visual strategies visit:


For social skills stories which can be downloaded immediately go to:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

For flash cards and communication symbols which can be used in a variety of ways such as on visual schedules or on their own as a means of communication visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

 

 

 

Visual schedules for autism

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010


Using autism tools such as visual schedules for autism is beneficial. A visual schedule is a set of pictures or images that show visually, like a step by step plan a series of activities or the specific steps of an activity. The visual schedule does this by showing the child on the spectrum what activities will occur and in what sequence.

 

To make a visual schedule you will need a set of pictures or images that can be used and a piece of laminated card or board that the images or pictures can be attached to. Appropriate pictures or images can be acquired from sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

 

Much like a social skills story, visual schedules for autism provide the child on the spectrum with positive cues allowing them to predict what is happening and what is about to happen which removes anxieties.


Using appropriate images or pictures a visual schedule gives the child with autism a step by step framework for the day. Children with autism do not like surprises and rigidly stick to routines. Visual schedules are excellent autism tools, for removing anxieties and setting routine and structure to the day.


Generally children with autism are visual thinkers and learners and will respond well to visual information. Another excellent resource recommended for use with children with autism and visual schedules is the social skills story.

 

For example many children with autism struggle with even simple tasks like asking questions, class discussions, using the toilet, hygiene, recess and so on. Anxieties can still occur even if you are using visual schedules for autism. If the child with autism is unsure how to perform a task or activity on the schedule they may become confused and anxious, this is where a social skills story will help.

 

Again visually rich a social skills story can show using a specific style and formula how the child on the spectrum should act and why. By using visual images a social skills story sets out the task, skill or activity by breaking it down into small understandable steps; the visual cues allowing the child with autism to understand the “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what removing stress and confusion.

 

For many children with autism communication can be tricky, this is common to autism, social skills stories predict the reaction and suggest possible responses the child with autism may consider making.


For example: many children with autism have difficulties with activities such as visiting the dentist. Parents suggest in recent surveys using social skills stories allows their child to rehears the visit by reading through the story. Therefore once at the dentist the child with autism is not stressed they will understand what is happening and what is expected of them, they will also understand why the dentist will want to look into their mouth and what they should do, for example sitting in the chair, the lights will be bright etc.

 

Now the child is prepared using visual schedules for autism your child can see a dental visit is happening and by reading the social story your child will not be anxious about this upcoming event.


By giving your child with autism and visual schedules and social skills stories you’re using autism tools that are specifically designed to help individuals on the spectrum cope with daily activities and changes to routines successfully.

 

All individuals on the spectrum will benefit for autism tools such as visual schedules and social skills stories.

 

To download social skills stories visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com


To accquire images and pictures that can be used on any visual schedules or as flash or PECS cards visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Visual strategies for improving communication in autism

Monday, July 26th, 2010

What are visual strategies?


Visual strategies are things we see.

Facial and body movements, gestures, pictures, images and objects, environmental cues and written language these are all used as visual strategies that help support our communication. The world we live in is full of visual information such as a calendar, diary, clocks, signs, logos and so on all of which are used by us daily and support our communication. Without these visual strategies our lives would be confusing.

 

One of the major difficulties faced by children with autism is a lack of communication skills. A child on the spectrum will almost certainly have deficits with social interactions, communication skills and imagination skills.

 

A lack of communication skills is a problem faced by all children with autism and is normally the main reason the child on the spectrum finds difficulties with social interactions, communication, and imagination, language, in the classroom and in their behaviours.

 

Continuous research is undertaken into the causes and treatments for autism with conclusive results showing visual strategies for improving communication in autism help increase the understanding, social interaction and communication skills and behaviours of those on the spectrum.

 

Generally an individual on the spectrum will be a visual thinker and learner, which means that the individual on the spectrum will think in pictures and images, and will therefore respond and understand information easier, when it is presented visually rather than written or oral.

 

Therefore it is important that when teaching an individual on the spectrum communication skills the treatments for autism chosen for teaching be visually presented, using visual strategies.

 

Visual strategies for improving communication in autism such as social stories, PECS, flash cards, visual schedules etc can all be used as appropriate and effective methods for teaching an individual on the spectrum communication skills.


For children with autism it is not just the struggle with using language that hinders them but also understanding language and communication can be a difficulty. Children with autism lack the ability to understand the communication of others, trying to figure out what is happening or not happening, handling changes and transitions, and interpreting cues and signals in the environment can prove difficult and result in frustration and behaviour that is seen as negative.

 

Using visual support tools can help to increase the autistic child to understand what’s happening around them and why it is happening. Visual support tools are a good structure that can be used to help support and teach an individual autistic child daily and not so common tasks, behaviours and skills.


Social stories are visual strategies for improving communication in autism, and are regarded as one of the major visual support tools used today for individuals with autism, they can be used for a variety of issues, they can be edited to suit individual needs and levels of development, social stories are printable for ease of use and convenience and can be implemented quickly and effectively.

 

To learn more about how implementing social stories can help you teach social and communication skills and behaviours to your child with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com


Alternatively other sites which offer downloads and explanations of and uses for social stories, and how implementing social stories for your child with autism can help are located at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.insideautisticminds.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/socialskills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources 

Which resources to use with an autistic child

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Autism is one of the most common developmental disorders yet still it is misunderstood.

Being the parent of an autistic child is one of the toughest challenges a parent can face. However with early diagnosis of autism, the challenges can be lessened.

Understanding which resources to use with an autistic child can be confusing, with so many treatments for autism available, many parents struggle to understand and decide which resources will best suit their own individual child.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of autism can be severe in some children with an ASD, some children with an ASD may never develop speech may have other educational difficulties and seizures. While other children with an ASD may have average or above average intelligence, although in most cases speech will be slow to develop.

Although there is nothing that can be done to reverse autism, therefore a diagnosis of autism is a lifelong disability. However there are strategies parents of autistic children can use to help with the symptoms of autism.

So which resources to use with an autistic child? What is available and how can you access them quickly and easily?

Generally being the parent of an autistic child can be isolating, frustrating and confusing. Many parents of autistic children use resources such as autism social skills stories, to help their child develop age appropriate skills and behaviours that their typically developing peers are learning naturally.

Studies into the behaviour patterns of children with autism show that most autistic children are visual thinkers and learners no matter which end of the autism scale they are on. This knowledge helps us determine which kind of resources may be needed to help children with autism learn skills and behaviours effectively.

Generally visual thinkers and learners will better understand information when it is presented visually through images, pictures, graphs etc rather that through written words or orally. For children with autism on either end of the autism scale visual representations and information is better received and understood.

Visual resources for children with autism are available from many sites like: http://www.autismsocialstories.com  Visual resources for children with autism such as social skills stories can be implemented and used effectively to help show and teach children with an ASD appropriate skills and behaviours. For example social skills stories are used to help autistic children learn behaviours such as making friends, controlling negative behaviours, asking questions, sharing, taking turns, respecting personal space, using the toilet and so on.

Social skills stories are like a comic script, visual, colourful, use first person language, can be edited, printed and personalized. Social skills stories are like a role model detailing the skill or behaviour in appropriate language and images easy to use, follow and versatile, can be edited and convenient to use. Social skills stories are one of the most popular autism resources used today, and have great uses in the nursery, classroom, college, work place and at home or out and about they can be used in most situation the autistic child struggles with for example the dentist, a hospital visit, birthday party, school trip, wedding etc.

To find out more about social stories and there uses visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com or one of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Having autism and finding friends

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Many children with autism spectrum disorder do want to make and have friends. But having autism spectrum disorder can make this difficult.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects a persons development in three main areas: social interactions, communication difficulties and imagination skills.

 

These developmental difficulties are referred to as the autism triad of impairments and it is this which hinders children with autism spectrum disorder.

 

The autism triad of impairments will vary from child to child as no two children will ever be the same.

 

Some children with autism on the lower end of the autism scale may have little or no language and may have other related disabilities.

 

By contrast for children on the other end of the autism scale, with for example asperger syndrome will often be schooled in mainstream schools and be of average to above average intelligence. It is generally this end of the autism scale, those with asperger syndrome and high functioning autism whom probably desire friendships.

 

For this set of children with asperger syndrome, high functioning autism or mild autism making and maintaining friendships will be a struggle. A staggering fact is that unfortunately it is believed that around 40% of autistic children in mainstream education will at some point be a victim to bullying.

 

A typically developing child in mainstream education will eagerly await recess and break times to let off steam and play with their friends, it is their time to run around and socially interact with their peers and have fun.

 

However for an autistic child, often the sound of the bell can fill them with fear and dread. Autistic children prefer structure, routine and dislike surprises, noises and the unstructured chaos of free time. They find choice making difficult will quite often become overwhelmed by recess and break times.

 

For many autistic children recess is a confusing part of the school day. There are a lot of choices to be made, what to play with, who to play with, what to do, so many choices a normal child will take for granted and enjoy, this is not the case for an autistic child.

 

For example a simple playground game that a typically developing child may enjoy, can be confusing to an autistic child. The autistic child may choose to join in with their peers, but may be unable to follow the rules of the game. For typically developing children this can be frustrating needing to stop and reconfirm the rules constantly. The child on the spectrum will not be deliberately being awkward, they probably do not understand the need for rules, and then just as they start to understand this set of rules, the rules may change, or the game may stop.

 

However, for some children with autism that do understand the rules this may also prove a problem, as they may stick rigidly to the rules which in some cases can take the fun out of the game for the other normally developing children. The typically developing children may simply loose interest and unfortunately the child on the spectrum may not understand why this is and become distressed.

 

Some children with autism spectrum disorder are hypo or hypersensitive and can become overwhelmed by noise, which can make recess or break time a painful and stressful time. They may be seen pacing up and down in their own little world until recess is over and they can return to the routine and structure of the classroom.

 

All these factors can make autism and finding friends difficult to say the very least.

 

So how can you help with the problem of autism and finding friends?

 

Generally as discussed earlier kids with autism prefer structure and routine, this can be achieved by the use of autism visual supports such as autism visual schedules and social skills stories, these resources are used in the classroom to add structure and routine the child’s day.

 

These autism visual supports can also be used to help kids with autism cope with recess and break times taking away some of anxieties they may feel around this time of the day.

 

The autism visual supports can also be used to help kids with autism understand how to maintain friendships, by teaching the autistic child how to use conversation, how to pretend play, how to be kind, respect peoples feelings and personal space, how to share and make choices and so on, all social skills we take for granted, but an autistic child will need to be taught these social skills directly.

 

Therefore the perfect place to start with autism and making friends is with autism visual supports such as autism visual schedules and social skills stories to teach the autistic child the social skills necessary for making and maintaining friendships and dealing with recess and break times.

 

You can find appropriate social skills stories and other autism resources for kids with autism for download at:

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

What are social stories for children with autism spectrum disorder?

Monday, July 19th, 2010


Social skills stories are used to teach social and communication skills to children with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Social stories were first used around twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray to help her communicate with the autistic children she was working with.

 

A social skills story is much like a comic strip conversation, which describes a skill or situation in relevant social cues, using visual prompts and text answering the “wh” (what, where, why, when and who) as well as “HOW” questions for a particular skill, situation or behaviour.

 

For example social stories for children with autism spectrum disorder can be used for skills such as; tooth brushing, showering, visiting the dentist etc. A social skills story can be used fo teenagers to help with issues such as puberty, menstruation, making friends and so on.

 

Normally written by experts and following a set plan a social skills story can give specific information in a step by step visual plan or framework in a manner that can be easily digested and understood by children with ASD, much like a role model.

 

Social stories for children with autism spectrum disorder provide ASD children, teens and adults with relevant information that can help them determine how another person may be feeling their emotions, thoughts and actions, thus showing ASD children how to react and respond in specific situations.


Social skills stories are today one of the most significant tools used to help teach social and communication skills to children with ASD. Consequently social skills stories are easily adaptable, and generally visually rich.


By addressing the theory of mind (social skills deficits) social skills stories can be used in the home, school, college and almost anywhere where the individual with autism needs help to understand and master a skill or behaviour that they are struggling to deal with.


Hopefully this will answer the ~ what are social skills stories for children with autism spectrum disorder question, for more information and to download social skills stories for children with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Other sites offering downloads of social stories for ASD children or teens with autism spectrum disorder can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstoires.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

 

 

Autistic visual supports what are they?

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Visual supports are part of our everyday lives, we read newspapers, books, use the internet, watch TV, look at road maps, signs and so on. They are important, the vast majority of us rely on visual supports in our jobs, at school, college and so on, and many of us could not function as effectively without visual supports.

Visual supports can be used to help people with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions in much the same way.

Most autistic individuals are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore presenting information in a visual manner can help encourage and support the communication skills, language development, social skills development, encourage positive behaviours and the ability to process information in people with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition which affects a person’s ability in three main areas of development: social interactions, communication - verbal and nonverbal and imagination skills. This is often referred to as the triad of autistic impairments.

The triad of autistic impairments is found in all autistic individuals, but to varying degrees dependant on the individuals own level of development. There is no cure for autism, but there are various methods and treatments for autism available which can help people with autism spectrum address the triad of autistic impairments.

Having a lack of social interaction, communication and imagination skills can be confusing and lead to social isolation and even bullying in many cases. For children with autism it is vital that they are taught appropriate social, communication and imagination skills directly. This is achieved using treatments for autism like autistic visual supports.

So autistic visual supports what are they and where can you find them? There are various treatments for autism like social stories, PECS, flash cards, schedules, communication boards and so on all very good autistic visual supports and all readily available for most parents of autistic children.

The internet is the perfect place to begin looking for supports for children with autism, sites run by behaviour specialists, O.T.,  Language specialists, clinics and so on offer parents of autistic children the chance to order and download various autistic visual supports sometimes for free or for a small fee.

Probable one of the major visual supports for children with autism is social skills stories. A good source of social skills stories is found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Social skills stories are used to teach and encourage social interaction, communication and imagination skills and behaviours as well as address other difficulties that the person on the autism spectrum may be struggling with such as personal hygiene issues, school related difficulties and so on.

 

Social skills stories answer the “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others. Using visual images and first person text the social skills story breaks the skill down into relevant social key points giving the person on the autism spectrum a chance to rehearse the skill making it more predictable, therefore reducing anxieties, confusion and stress.

 

Social skills stories are easy to edit; personalize and print making them convenient and easy to use. To find out more about autistic visuals supports what are they visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/socialskills

http://www.insideautisticminds.com

Using autism resources & social skills stories

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010


Using autism resources like social skills stories is beneficial, social stories are an effective method of addressing and teaching social skills to individuals on the spectrum.

 

Autism social skills stories are used as a strategy, they provide autistic people with accurate information about any situation they maybe struggling with, find confusing, or stressful.

 

Autism social skills stories use visual images and first person text to describe a skills or situation by giving focus to the key points: these are the important social cues.

 

For example: the social skills story will give information about the event, and the reactions the individual might expect to occur in the situation. Plus it will give the actions and reactions that might be expected of them, and why.


The goal of any social skills story is to increase the autistic persons understanding of events and situations, therefore making them more comfortable in the situation, as well as suggesting possible appropriate responses.


Research suggests that individuals with autism lack the theory of mind. They are unable to interpret, “mind read”. This means individuals with autism are unable to read the thoughts and feelings of others by simply watching their body language, facial expression or gestures - nonverbal communications. As typically developing individuals we naturally interpret the nonverbal communications of others.

 

An autistic people lack any understanding that others have their own thoughts, feelings, plans, and points of view. This inevitably can lead to stress and confusion for autistic people.

 

Consequently, using autism resources which help individuals on the spectrum understand and learn social skills such as reading nonverbal communications as well as other social skills they may struggle with is beneficial.

 

For many individuals on the spectrum lacking social skills is distressing and can lead to social isolation, using autism resources like autism social skills stories which teach social skills can help. Social skills stories need no formal training to use and are editable, printable and can be personalized making them convenient.


The social skills story provides information in a well structured and consistent manner, which is excellent for kids with autism.


Kids with autism are visual thinkers and learners and will respond well to the visual images in autism social skills stories.

 

Social Stories  give an autistic child direct contact with appropriate social skills information, like a role model, using pictures and text as opposed to speech or observation, which appears to be a noticeable weakness in autism and aspergers syndrome.

 

To learn more about autism social skills stories and gain downloads of social stories for your autistic child or young person visit:

www.autismsocialstories.com

www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

www.autismsocialstories.com/school

www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

www.autismsocialstories.com/aggression

www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

 

Social awareness in autism

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Generally most children on the autism spectrum will appear aloof even rude at times, free of pretences, oblivious to public opinion and not concerned with making a good impression. Children on the autism spectrum are honest, if you do not want a straight forward answer don’t ask, they will not pretend and will not care if they hurt your feelings by being honest.

For children with autism a lack of social skills can lead in many cases to bullying, isolation and ridicule. A child on the autism spectrum will not worry about how others perceive them or whether they are considered cool or not by their peers.

 

A lack of social awareness in autism can be aided using supports designed to help teach children on the autism spectrum why we need social skills, what they are and how to conduct themselves.

 

Most autistic children are visual thinkers and learners and will respond better to visual information, such as visual autistic supports. There are many visual autistic supports available to use, but probably the most effective visual support for autistic children are social skills stories.

 

Social awareness in autism is a problem. Social skills stories tackle the ” questions - who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others.

 

For example: You’re at a friend’s house, your friend’s son is playing nicely with his toy, but your son wants that toy. You have tried to tell him to wait, you turn your back and there is a yell! Your friend’s son is crying nursing a bitten arm, while your son is happily playing with the toy. Your son has not waited to share or asked nicely, his social awareness skills are missing, he wanted the toy therefore he took the toy.

 

What do you do? Stay in the home and never go out? NO of cause not, you teach your child on the autism spectrum appropriate social skills. Easier said than done? MAYBE! But introducing visual autistic supports such as social skills stories can really make a difference to children with autism.

 

A social skills story is aimed specifically at children on the spectrum, written by experts, needs no formal training to use, can be printed out for ease of use and convenience, will slip into your bag to take with you while out. A social story can be edited and personalized to suit your child’s ability and language recognition.

 

Social skills stories are normally visually rich using visual images to show your child with first person text how and why we do what we do or why we use certain behaviours.

 

Social skills stories are used widely by parents, teachers, care givers and other professionals to teach children on the spectrum appropriate social skills, they are also used to aid communication difficulties and to reduce negative behaviours such as biting, stimming, asking inappropriate questions and so on.

 

Social skills stories can also be used to help prepare for changes to routines, unexpected events or happenings, hygiene issues, in fact almost all social, communication and imagination issues can be dealt with by using social skills stories as a strategy.

 

To learn more about how to use social skills stories as a strategy when teaching social awareness in autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Or any of the following sites

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

How to teach social skills to autistic children

Monday, July 12th, 2010


Social skills are learnt naturally through socialization, we watch people and learn through experience, our environment, peers and families.

 

The ability to learn social skills naturally is missing in autistic children and therefore they need to learn social skills directly through supports, like for example social skills stories.

 

Social skills stories show us how to teach social skills to autistic children, such as holding a conversation, understanding nick names, sharing, respecting personal space, taking turns and so on.


Social stories teach the autistic person both verbal and nonverbal communication skills and behaviours which will help them act appropriately in social situations. For example social skills stories teach social skills to individuals on the spectrum such as waving goodbye, saying hello, lining up, in school assembly, whilst out shopping and so on.

Individuals on the spectrum do not read subtle cues contained in social interactions, such as how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity.

By teaching the autistic person to read social cues you will provide them with the knowledge to determine how to act in various situations or why to perform certain skills such as good hygiene habits or visiting the dentist.

Consequently, many parents looking at methods on how to teach social skills to autistic children turn to autistic supports such as social stories as a means of not only teaching social skills but as a means of communicating also.

Social stories answer the important “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into verbal and nonverbal communication, plus an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.

Using social stories as a strategy to teach an autistic child social and communication skills is beneficial. Research shows social stories as a strategy improves positive behaviours and reduces negative behaviours and anxiety.

To learn more about social stories as a strategy visit:

 http://www.autismsocialstories.com and learn how to teach social skills to autistic children using these autistic supports. Easy to use and with no need for any kind of training to use social stories are printable, editable and can be personalized for convenience and ease of use.

Alternativelly social stories can be found at any of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school


Daily struggles of autistic children can affect the entire family

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to process sensory input, communicate and use imagination skills.

So what are the daily struggles of autistic children which can affect the entire family?

Probably the biggest hurdle faced by families with autistic children is the child’s issues with social functioning, for example an autistic child may not recognise emotions, feelings, be reluctant to accept changes, need structured routines, prefer to be solitary and have an unwillingness to participate in social functions etc.

For most children with autism communication both verbal and nonverbal is troublesome, for example they may not recognise humour, wit, jokes etc. Children with autism tend not to recognise nonverbal communications either such as gestures, facial expression and body language.

Many children with autism display unusual behaviours, for example repetitive stereotypical movements, obsessions sometimes with odd or unusual items such as clock mechanisms, timetables etc.

Sometimes the daily struggles of autistic children can affect the entire family in many ways for example, visiting grandparents, going on holiday, a birthday party, anniversary; even just going out shopping can all be difficult and stressful for a family with an autistic child.

There are autistic supports available that can help you deal with and find solutions for many if not all the daily struggles you are having within your family unit.

Probably the most effective of the autistic supports that are available are social stories, these are normally written by experts, can be edited, personalized and printed, and do not need any kind of training to use.

Social stories are short visual scripts much like a comic script which details a certain skill or situation that needs addressing, for example visiting grandparents, shopping, a dental visit, going to the zoo etc. The social story breaks the situation or skill down into small sections, removes the fluff and uses first person text with visual images to detail the key points of the skill or situation to make it understandable and less frightening or stressful for the autistic child.

The social story answers the important “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what; as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions others may be feeling, giving the autistic child a chance to comprehend and feel more comfortable with and in the situation, which should reduce stress and unwanted behaviours.

To learn more about social stories visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/potty

Communicating with an autistic sibling

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Having an autistic sibling is not easy autism is a complex neurological disorder. A sibling with autism can mean a typically developing child may not get as much attention and will be forced into a more back seat role within the family. This is not intentional, having a child with autism affects the entire family, and coping can be stressful and time consuming for many parents.

 

Autism affects the way a child develops in three main areas: social interactions, communication and imagination, this is often referred to as the triad of autistic impairments, or social skills deficits.

 

An autistic child may also be hyper or hypo sensitive, display repetitive behaviours and develop at times peculiar obsessions.


Having a sibling with autism may be frustrating your friends may think your brother/sister is weird they may even poke fun at them, which can be upsetting. An autistic child will not recognise sarcasm or humour because of their communication difficulties they may be unable to join in with jokes and appear aloof even rude at times.

 

Most children with autism will prefer routines and things to stay the same, which can mean an unexpected tea visit from a friend can upset them and cause anxieties even aggressive behaviours.

 

These situations are common in many households with an autistic child, autism affects the entire family, and yours is not the only household that suffers these issues.

 

Learning affective methods for communicating with an autistic sibling is made easier when visual supports are introduced.

 

Children with autism are normally visual thinkers and learners which means they think in pictures. Therefore using visual supports for autism is going to be beneficial. Visual supports for autism can take many forms, for example, PECS, flash cards, social stories and so on all of which can be used with good results.

 

Probably one of the major tools used in autism to help with communication difficulties are social stories. Social skills stories are generally written by experts and need no formal training to use.


Social skills stories were first developed by Carol Gray as tools used in autism for the treatment of communication difficulties. Today social skills stories are used for more than just communication difficulties. Social stories are also widely used as a means of treating the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

An autistic social skills story is normally written in the first person and using appropriate language. The autistic social skills story also uses images to show the skill or situation being targeted with by the story.

 

Research does show us that children with autism respond well to autistic social skills stories and suggest figures showing improvements in communication skills with children using social stories as a strategy to learn communication skills.

 

Using social stories as a strategy can help increase your autistic siblings understanding of certain skills and behaviours, such as how to pretend play, asking questions, respecting personal space, sharing, taking turns etc.


Social stories act as  a role model of the skill or behaviour and answer the important “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what as well as give the child with autism an insight into the thoughts, feelings, emotions and non verbal communications of others which can help reduce anxieties and stressful situations.

 

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

 

Remember autism affects the entire family, getting help can be useful; using visual supports for autism like social skills stories is going to help. To get access to social skills stories on a wide variety of issues visit any of the following sites:


http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

Help teach autistic children to make friends

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) affects about one in every 100 children born.

 

Autistic children are sometimes referred to as being “locked in their own world” and struggle to communicate with others. Many autistic children have hyper or hypo sensitivities, will display repetitive behaviours and obsessive tendencies.


All children on the spectrum will have social skills deficits, the theory of mind: Social interactions, communication difficulties and imagination skills do not develop in the typical manner.

 

The theory of mind refers to how the child on the spectrum cannot readily appreciate the feelings, knowledge, or beliefs of other people, nor recognise or interpret his or her own thought processes. Consequently they will display communication difficulties, a lack of self-consciousness, and an inability to understand social situations, skills, nonverbal communications and imagination skills.

 

It is because of the theory of mind a child on the spectrum may find making friends difficult preferring solitary play.


Typically developing children may find a child on the spectrum hard to befriend, this is not uncommon, autistic children can appear rude, aloof and at times unfriendly or approachable.

 

This is due to their social skills deficits, an autistic child may fail to recognise nonverbal signals sent from another child, humour or jokes, they may lack the skills to pretend play, share or take turns all of which can make befriending an autistic child hard.

 

There are methods that can help teach autistic children to make friends, one method which is easy to use and can be implemented without any need for formal training is social stories.

 

Social stories are visual supports for autism which were developed almost twenty years ago as a means of aiding communication difficulties. However today their uses have increased, social stories are probably one of the major methods used to help autistic children learn social skills such as making friends.

 

Social stories are short, almost comic like representations of a skill or behaviour from the autistic person’s point of view. Using visual images and first person text the social story will answer the “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what a well as give an insight into the thought process, emotions, feelings and nonverbal communications of others.

 

Today visual supports for autism play a large part in the teaching of social, communication and imagination skills of children on the spectrum. Generally written by experts, teachers and parents of children on the spectrum, social stories are editable, can be personalized and should be printable for convenience of use. To access social skills stories for issues like making friends visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

To learn more about social skills stories for children with autism and how they can be used to help teach autistic children to make friends, as well as for a wide variety of issues such as respecting personal space, asking questions, recess, visiting the dentist, joining in PE lessons and so on.


Get access to social skills stories for children with autism and related conditions.

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

 

Teaching self help skills to teens with autism

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Teenagers with autism tend to miss many social cues therefore direct teaching of social skills is beneficial.

 

For typically developing teenagers learning acceptable social skills is difficult, they tend to miss subtle cues, fail to recognise changes to tone of voice, facial expression body language changes and so on. Having social skills deficits, being unable to read verbal and non verbal signals is going to hinder a teen with autism.


Having social skills deficits is common to all teenagers with autism, the degree of symptom is dependant on the individuals own degree development as no two teens with autism will ever be the same.


Treatments of autism developed to help teens on the spectrum cope with and learn acceptable social and communication skills are beneficial.

 

One of the major treatments of autism used around this time is social stories. Many teens on the spectrum will already be familiar with the uses of social stories and may have used them through school and growing up.

 

Social skills stories were first developed twenty years ago to help aid communication for children with autism. But since then their use has increased and today they are widely used for all individuals with autism to help them not only communicate but also learn social, interaction, communication and imagination skills and behaviours. They are also used extensively for teaching self help skills to teens with autism with good effect.

 

Teaching self help skills to teens with autism such as hygiene skills, puberty, menstruation and so on, all life skills a teen on the spectrum may struggle to understand but will undoubtedly need to learn.

 

Social skills stories are normally written following a set pattern of four main sentence types: Perspective, directive, descriptive and control sentences. The social story will use first person text in a manner individuals with autism understand. A social story is generally visual; individuals on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners making visual representation beneficial and easier to comprehend.


The social skills story acts as a role model for individuals on the spectrum showing and answering the “wh” questions who, where, when, why, and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, expressions and feelings of others all helping the autistic teen feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

Teaching self help skills to teens with autism need not be an uphill struggle, using social skills stories is beneficial. To learn more about how a social skills story could benefit your autistic teen visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens

 

Social stories specifically aimed at hygiene issues can be found at http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene


Other ASD teen social stories can be found at http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asd_teens


All ASD teen social stories are written by an expert in autism. Other social stories can be found at http://www.insideautisticminds.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Managing autistic behaviour issues effectively

Friday, July 2nd, 2010


Children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) regardless of their age will have autistic behaviour issues, this is a fact.

 

The term Autism Spectrum Disorder is an umbrella term used to describe a set of conditions ranging from Asperger syndrome to low functioning autism. The common denominator in all children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is their social skills deficits or the triad of autistic impairments.

 

The triad of autistic impairments - social skills deficits that are associated with ASD affect the autistic child in three main areas of development, each of which can have its own specific autistic behaviour difficulties.


The areas of development affected are:

Social Interactions,

Communication Difficulties,

And Imagination Skills Deficits

 

For children with autism the world can seem confusing, with situations we find normal can to an autistic child be stressful and can even cause anxiety or autistic behaviour difficulties. For example a surprise visit, a dental check up, birthday party, even a change in routine, TV programme change etc can all be anxiety triggers to a children with autism.

 

It is because of their social skills deficits a child on the spectrum can seem distant, distracted, have a poor attention span even appear aloof or rude. This can cause issues with peers etc and sometimes even lead to social isolation and at times bullying.

 

Treatments of autism that are aimed at addressing autistic behaviour issues can be implemented easily to help a child on the spectrum cope with and understand situations or skills that cause them stress or can be anxiety triggers to the child on the spectrum.

 

One of the major treatments of autism used is social skills stories. First developed to aid Communication Difficulties, social skills stories are now mainly used to teach children on the spectrum social, communication and imagination skills and address autistic behaviour difficulties.

 

Managing autistic behaviour issues effectively using social skills stories has proven effective for many years. With their growing popularity social skills stories are now more widely available, sites offering expertly written social skills stories allow parents, caregivers and teachers that opportunity to download this valuable resource, sometimes for a small fee.

 

Social skills stories show the skill or situation from the point of view of the autistic child, using visual images and first person text, the social story will follow a set pattern of sentence type to form a short visual plan, like a comic strip.

 

This short story will visually represent the skill or situation and act as a role model to the autistic child, helping them to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

Social skills stories can be printed an edited to make them more personal to the child on the spectrum and for ease of use and convenience. Sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com offer a wide variety of social skills stories on a variety of subjects. All of which can help parents struggling with managing autistic behaviour issues.


To learn more about how a social story will help your autistic child visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills