Posts Tagged ‘autism scale’

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

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