Posts Tagged ‘asperger syndrome’

Having Autism and finding friends

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

For most children with autism lacking social interaction skills is common. Many children with autism will want to make and have friends but will find this process confusing and stressful.

Lacking social interaction skills is often referred to as the autism triad of impairments but those autism triad of impairments will vary from child to child.

The actual degree a child is affected with the autism triad of impairments will generally depend on the individual’s social development.

Some children with autism on the lower end of the autism scale may have little or no language and may have other related disabilities. On the other end of the autism scale those children with asperger syndrome will often be schooled in mainstream schools and be of average to above average intelligence. This set of individuals will probably desire friendships.

Those children with asperger syndrome or mild autism will probably want friendships but making and maintaining those friendships will be a struggle, unfortunately it is believed around 40% of autistic children in mainstream education will at some point be a victim to bullying.

For most typically developing children recess and break times are a time of fun and a chance to run around and interact with their peers, this is “normal behavior”

However this is not the case with 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 and can sometimes be overwhelmed by recess and break times.

A lot of autistic children find recess confusing, there are a lot of choices to be made, what to play with, who to play with, what to do, so many choices a “typical child” will take for granted and enjoy, this is not the case with an autistic child.

For example a simple game, the autistic child may choose to join in with their peers, but may find comprehending the rules confusing, they may not understand the need for the rules, and then just as they start to understand the rules may change or the game may stop.

The other end to this is those children with autism that will stick rigidly to the rule and this can sometimes take the fun out of the game for the other normally developing children, they may loose interest and unfortunately the autistic child may not understand why this is and become distressed.

Some autistic children can become overwhelmed by noise, which can make recess or break time a painful and stressful time, you may find them 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 we 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 autistic children 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/stories.html

www.autismsocialstories.com/sensory.html

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability

 

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability is unfortunately misunderstood. The term autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range of conditions. It is believed that around 25% of people with ASD will have accompanying learning disabilities.  Regardless of functioning, typically all people with an Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability will almost certainly have difficulties with social skills, imagination skills, behaviors and display communication difficulties, this is often called the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

Autism Spectrum Syndrome is a life-long condition that is either present from birth or from early childhood.

Listed below are a few of the autism characteristics that may be present in children with autism. However, typically those with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome may only display a few of the autism characteristics listed behaviors while others on the lower end of the autism scale may display all the behaviors.

Having Autism Spectrum Disorder can mean:

  • Being unable to cope appropriately with social situations.
  • Self-stimulating behavior, often referred to as “stimming” this can include behaviors such as: flicking fingers, flapping arms, rocking back and forth and in some cases self-injury like head banging or slapping.
  • Communication difficulties – this can include asking questions, joining in conversations an finding appropriate topics of conversation.
  • Obsessions with certain facts or objects; for example timetables.
  • Asking questions they already know answers to.
  • Obsession with a routine that if broken may cause distress, this is a known area of weakness in children with autism
  • Difficulty forming relationships with others –  making friends can be difficult for children on the spectrum
  • Misunderstanding people’s feelings and emotions – difficulties with “mind reading” or reading peoples facial expression and body language is lacking in children on the spectrum
  • Problems with creativity and imagination are also a cause for concern in children on the spectrum. Typically children with autism are not spontaneous and will struggle with make believe and spontaneity preferring rigid learnt responses.
  • Typically many children on the spectrum will have a short concentration span.

Many autistic people are naturally gifted in certain areas, many autistic people are extremely gifted when using their hands constructing, painting and in music.

Those individuals with Asperger syndrome tend to be on the higher end of the autism scale. This set of individuals with Aspeger syndrome are generally average or above average intelligence.  Those individuals on the lower end of the autism scale may also display learning disabilities, this set of individuals may have poor communication skills and in many cases language may never develop.

In the classroom typically a student with autistic spectrum disorder may have difficulties forming social relationships and following school rules. This can cause issues within the classroom for teachers and other students. A student with autistic spectrum disorder may need extra support in school to help them cope. This help can come in the form of visual intervention strategies like: PECS, visual support cards, flash cards, social skills stories, visual timetables, now and next boards and so on…

Looking into what is Asperger Syndrome?
What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger syndrome has been described as “high functioning Autism.”
People with Asperger Syndrome will generally not have any learning disability. In many cases a child with Asperger Syndrome may not receive a diagnosis until they are older. Unlike a diagnosis of autism which is generally given before the child reaches three years of age. Indeed some people can go through their whole lives having Asperger Syndrome and not receive a diagnosis, until they are in their 40’s or older.

Asperger syndrome was first identified by Hans Asperger in the 1940’s; some of the characteristics of Asperger syndrome are:

  • Lack of empathy
  • Naive, inappropriate one sided interactions
  • Little or no ability to form friendships
  • Pedantic or repetitive speech
  • Poor non verbal communication
  • Intense absorption in certain subjects
  • Clumsy and ill coordinated movements and odd postures.

It is also apparent that those individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome also display the triad of autistic impairments – social skills deficits, as with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

  • Social communication: knowing what to say to other people and understanding what they are saying to you.
  • Social understanding: knowing what to do when you are with others or behaving inappropriately (apparently oblivious to social rules).
  • Imagination: pretend play, make believe and fantasy.

People with Asperger’s Syndrome will generally fulfill their potential and may go on to university, have a job and live a relatively “normal” life, get married and have a family.

 Overcoming the triad of autistic impairment – social skills deficits can be as difficult for the individual with Asperger’s as it can be for those individuals with mild an lower functioning autism

Therefore overcoming social skills deficits can become a primary focus for all people with ASD and their families. Overcoming social skills deficits can be achieved using autism supports like visual intervention strategies such as social skills stories and visual support cards.

 Looking at visual intervention strategies – autism supports

 Generally people with ASD are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think and learn in pictures. Consequently, visual intervention strategies are beneficial because they use visual means of communication, such as images, pictures, graphs and so on.

 An individual on the spectrum will be better able to understand and follow instruction and information when it is presented visually, rather than written or oral command. Strategies such as social stories use visual images along with appropriate first person text to explain a situation or skill that the individual on the spectrum is struggling with.

 For example: Autism and making friends, generally children on the spectrum struggle to make and maintain friendships. A social story can act as a role model or step by step plan showing children on the spectrum the social rules they are expected to follow when attempting to make friends, like for example how to approach another child, how to start a conversation and so on…

For many children with autism social stories are a life line, helping them overcome many difficulties. Many parents trust social stories to help them overcome hurdles such as puberty, relationships, and transitions etc…

 Social skills stories can answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others this is a marked area of weakness for many children with autism.

 Generally social skills stories are in word format making them easy to edit, no two individuals with autism are ever the same and we all use different terminology, therefore social stories need to be editable. They should also be easy to print making them portable and convenient to use anywhere and anytime.

 To learn more about social skills stories and how they benefit children with Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability, as well as other autism supports like visual support cards visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

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

 

 

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

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

 

 


The symptoms of mild autism

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurobiological disorder, there is no cure for autism and typically the symptoms of autism will be ongoing throughout the autistic person’s life.

 

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by varying degrees of autistic impairments often referred to as the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

These social skills deficits are typically displayed in the development of communication, social, imagination and interaction skills and abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors.

 

The symptoms of autism range from mild autism which is often called asperger syndrome to severe autism or low functioning autism.

 

The symptoms of mild autism can vary between individuals on the spectrum. Although all children on the autism spectrum disorder scale may exhibit some similar traits not every child will display all of characteristics associated with autism.

 

A child with autism on the lower end of the autism scale may never develop speech or it may be delayed and may have other educational disabilities, while a child with autism on the higher end of the autism scale can be high-functioning with average or above average intelligence and attend mainstream school.

 

Some autistic children have sensory processing issues in some or all of the senses and may display sensory processing issues such as being sensitive to the feel of fabric so much so that all tags must be cut out of clothing before they will wear it. Another child with autism may display no sensory issues at all.


However, all children with autism spectrum disorder will display social skills deficits with communication whether your child has the symptoms of mild autism or severe they will all have communication both verbal and non-verbal communication skills difficulties.

 

A child with autism will have difficulties relating to other people and will fail to understand non-verbal communication or body language.


Children with autism spectrum disorder are often referred to as having “mind blindness” or lacking the “theory of mind”. This means missing the ability to predict the thoughts, feelings and emotions expressed by other people.


For example we can tell a lot by a person’s posture, we can tell whether they are approachable, upset or happy, this ability to read another person is missing in people with autism.


However there are treatments available to people with autism that can help them learn social, communication, imagination and interaction skills.

 

The internet makes finding appropriate autism resources that help autistic people learn these social skills much easier. Generally most autistic people have found tremendous successes with autism resources such as social skills stories.

 

The symptoms of mild autism are such that generally most autistic children or asperger syndrome individuals can use social skills stories efficiently for coping and understanding social skills that they otherwise struggle to comprehend, which can sometimes lead to social blunders and stressful situations.


Sites that offer downloads OF SOCIAL SKILLS STORIES as well as expert advice and support like: http://www.autismsocialstories.com


 


Teaching strategies for asperger syndrome adolescents

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism spectrum disorder, affecting the brain of the individual.

 

The symptoms of asperger syndrome are the same as the symptoms of autism; individuals display deficits in social, communications both verbal and non-verbal, imaginations and interaction skills.

 

Figures recently published show that 1 in every 300 children born will develop the symptoms of asperger syndrome and be given the diagnosis of asperger syndrome.

 

The characteristics of asperger syndrome show us that the teaching strategies for asperger syndrome adolescents are different from the methods used with typically developing children and teens. Those adolescents with the symptoms of asperger syndrome will exhibit strengths in their visual processing skills, and will show significant weaknesses in their ability to process information auditorialy.

 

Which shows us that the use of asperger visual support strategies play an essential role as teaching strategies for asperger syndrome adolescents.


Asperger visual support strategies are used effectively when teaching social, communication, imagination and interaction skills and behaviors which are essential to an asperger individual’s development.

 

One form of asperger visual support strategies used to aid teaching asperger individual’s is asperger social skills stories. Developed by therapist Carol Gray almost twenty years ago asperger social skills stories are written by experts and parents to help teach and re-enforce behaviors and skills that are essential to the growth and development of asperger adolescents.


Parents and educators agree asperger social skills stories can play a vital role in helping teach social, communication, imagination and interaction skills and behaviors.


Asperger social stories are visually rich with appropriate text and language to help those adolescents with asperger syndrome understand, remember and cope with skills and behaviors that typically developing teens learn naturally.

 

Asperger social stories can be used to teach and help re-enforce various skills and behaviors like being a good sport, using deodorant, teasing, menstruation, how to have a good conversation and so on all essential skills.

 

Studies show an increase in skills and behaviors in adolescents with asperger syndrome that use asperger social stories.

 

To download asperger social skills stories for adolescents with asperger syndrome visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

Asperger syndrome characteristics

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

As with autism those with asperger syndrome will have the triad of characteristics typical of autism spectrum disorders.

 

Triad of autism spectrum disorder characteristics:

Social deficits

Communication deficits

Imagination and interaction deficits

 

Whilst aspergers does share similarities with autism, the main difference is the aspergers individual will present fewer problems with speaking.

 

People with asperger syndrome characteristics will generally be of average or above average intelligence.

 

Another main difference is the asperger individual is less likely to present the associated learning difficulties autistic people have. However asperger syndrome characteristics do show the asperger individual may display other more specific learning disabilities like dyspraxia, dyslexia, ADHD and epilepsy.

 

There is no reason why people with aspergers can not live a normal life.

 

Aspergers syndrome Characteristics

 

People with asperger syndrome are as earlier discussed on the autism spectrum disorder scale. The symptoms of asperger syndrome will vary between individuals.

 

Generally the common thread connecting asperger syndrome individuals is there deficits in communication and language.

 

People with aspergers present communication deficits and find conversation difficult. There lack of social language skills can hinder them socially, leaving them open to ridicule and bullying.

 

For example:

They lack the ability to read body language and facial expressions. The asperger individual may misuse language, fail to understand puns, jokes, sarcasm and swear words. They will speak very literally which can cause social problems. For example if you ask a question expect a straight forward honest answer back.

 

An asperger individual may miss important social cues, and find relationships hard to maintain.

 

A classic symptom of aspergers syndrome is social deficits. Using inappropriate actions and language can lead to possible social isolation.

 

Asperger characteristics also include difficulties with imagination and can lead to very strict regimes and routines. Which could cause stress and anxiety’s in the asperger individual should there ever be a need to alter those routines.

 

Although some people with aspergers may show a real flare for certain activities, like painting, music even numeracy. They will also lack imagination.

 

The asperger person as with autistic individuals will like order and routine, even down to lining up their belongings, in a ritualistic fashion.

 

As with autism asperger individuals will need help with personal and social aspects of their life.

 

This is where resources and tools such as aspergers social skills stories become beneficial:

 

Research into aspergers syndrome characteristics shows that people with aspergers have found benefit and coping strategies to help them control, learn and manage awkward and everyday situations or issues they may well be finding difficult, stressful or confusing.

 

For example “A social Kiss”, “Appropriate Touching” the use of “Swear Words” even personal care issues such as “Using deodorant”, “Showering” and other topics like “Playing Basketball”.

 

In-fact asperger social skills stories can cover all aspects the asperger individual maybe needing help with.

Immediate download of asperger social skills stories for adolescents:

www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

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