Social story on hygiene and Autism

Hygiene is an essential everyday life skill.

 

However for a person with autism spectrum disorder even the simplest of hygiene tasks such as tooth brushing can cause anxiety and distress. For a person with autism spectrum disorder social skills deficits and sensory processing issues are common.

 

Generally people with autism have sensory processing issues; are either hyper or hypo sensitive to stimuli – sight, sound, touch, taste or smell. Making a task such as tooth brushing problematic; the cold water, taste of the tooth paste even the nylon bristle of the tooth brush can be distressing.

 

Also a lack of social skills deficits affects how the autistic individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts to sensory stimuli and those around them. So for example looking a hygiene and autism, it is not uncommon for an autistic individual to simply not understand the need for hygiene and self care.

 

Generally people with autism live in a ‘literal world’ meaning they fail to see the social rules or etiquette, they will speak literally and really not care much what others may be thinking or feeling, this is not arrogance merely a symptom of autism.

 

Generally, people with autism spectrum disorder lack social and communication skills and need direct teaching. Most autistic people are visual thinkers and learners meaning they think in pictures.

 

Therefore visual strategies like social stories work very well for teaching and encouraging social skills the person with ASD is struggling to master or understand.

 

Consequently, using a social story on hygiene and Autism is beneficial. The social story will help the person with ASD understand the basic need for hygiene and how this is accomplished.

 

Social skills stories answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and reactions of others, helping to reduce stress and anxieties.

 

A social story on hygiene and Autism can tackle teaching the need for hygiene skills such as tooth brushing, getting a haircut, visiting the dentist, showering, puberty and so on.

 

Using visual strategies has been shown to work; social stories use first person text and visual images much like a comic strip, as a visual plan or framework of the skill or behavior being tackled, in a manner the ASD individual will understand.

 

Social stories for autism should be editable, printable and easy to implement, need no formal training to use and easy to personalize for each ASD individual.

 

A social story on hygiene and Autism will help explain visually the need for hygiene, why and how.

 

To learn more about visual strategies like social stories for autism and hygiene visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

 

For other social stories for autism and hygiene as well as other issues visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Autistic visual supports

Visual supports are used to help people with autism spectrum disorder. Visual supports should be easy to implement, adaptable and portable, making them convenient and easy to use.


Research suggests that the vast majority of people with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they can process information easier when it is visual rather than written text or auditory.


Consequently, presenting visual information can help children with autism learn vital everyday living skills and behaviours, including communication skills.

 

Autistic visual supports are useful when teaching children with autism social, communication and imagination skills, as well as helping with transitions, changes to routines and sensory processing issues.

 

Research suggests autistic visual supports such as social skills stories are beneficial and can be adapted to suit all abilities and ages. Social skills stories follow specific patterns. Originally designed twenty years ago as a communication aid, this autistic support has since grown into a major tool in autism today.

 

Social skills stories answer the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others which helps to reduce stress and anxiety.


Used as a tool in autism for teaching and supporting social and communication skills, social stories are used like a framework or role model explaining and visually showing the skills, situation or behaviour that the autistic individual is struggling to cope with or master.


Editable, printable, needing no formal training to use they can be personalized and adapted to suit any autistic individual. To learn more about social stories and how they are used and implemented to help children with autism learn suitable behaviours and skills visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Where you will find important information on social stories their uses and how they benefit children with autism spectrum disorder. There is also support and downloads of appropriate social stories which can be printed for convenience and ease of use. Other sites offering autistic visual supports such as social skills stories can be found at: 

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

 

Visiting the dentist with an autistic child

For many of us visiting the dentist is quite a scary thought which sparks an un-rational fear.  If parents have an un-rational fear, generally children will pick up on this and so the circle continues.


However this is not the case with autism, an autistic child will not generally pick up on their parents feelings and emotions. The ability to read facial expression and body language is missing in children with autism this is often referred to as the theory of mind.


So why for many parents is visiting the dentist with an autistic child so difficult?


Social skills deficits and sensory processing issues are common to autism. Autism is a developmental disability affecting an individual for life. Autism affects how the autistic individual thinks, acts, reacts, communication, imagination and how they process information.

 

Therefore looking at why visiting the dentist with an autistic child may be so difficult: The first consideration when taking an autistic child to the dentist many parents face is why do I need to see a dentist? This man or woman wearing a white coat, who expects them to lay in a chair with a bright light shining in their face, while they look into their mouth using strange equipment.


Although you yourself understand why it is important to have a regular check-up and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your special needs child may not understand what healthy hygiene habits are, and indeed the importance of having healthy teeth and gums.


Finding autistic resources especially designed for autistic individuals that will help you explain the importance of dental check ups and healthy hygiene habits in autism can be difficult. But for many parents autistic resources such as social skills stories are useful for showing and explaining just these kinds of things.


So what do you need to be aware of when taking an autistic child to the dentist? Once you have actually got your child with autism in the dentist…


Your first hurdle could be the bright lights in the reception area, noise are their children waiting in the reception, other patients arriving, chatting, can you hear dentists treating other patients? Is there a buzzer or bell can you hear the receptionist on the phone while you’re waiting, all these small things can be anxiety triggers to children with autism.


Many autistic children are sensitive with sensory processing issues being common to autism. The mouth is one of the most sensitive areas on your body, so anything being put in or done to their mouth may cause an anxiety trigger for your special needs child.


The feel of the cold instrument entering their mouth, the drill sensation, the water spraying, the taste of the mouth wash or paste, all these things can be anxiety triggers to children with autism.


The feel of the dentist chair, the rubber gloves the dentist will wear, the bright light above their face, even the goggles they may be asked to wear are these coloured, if so this could also be an anxiety trigger for the ASD child.


Is the dentist wearing perfume or aftershave, the deodorant the nurse or dentist is wearing, the smell in the dentist room, even reception area, the lady opposite you waiting maybe she has perfume on that will trigger an anxiety attack for the ASD child all these things can have an affect when taking an autistic child to the dentist.


Maybe the dentist is not aware of the affects of autism and autistic sensory stimuli. Autism is growing in recognition but a lot of health professionals are still not aware of the affects of autism or autistic sensory stimuli and what they can do to help ease any anxieties.


As well as all these factors, probably the biggest factor of all is actually why…for many children with autism understanding why they are even there, why they need to let the dentist look in their mouth. Using social skills stories will help explain this before you even step foot through the dentists door.

 

It is always a good idea to speak with the dentist before taking your child along, explain the affects of autism, what autism is and how your autistic child reacts to certain sensory stimuli. Explain sensory processing issues and that your autistic child is sensitive to stimuli and how this can be helped while your ASD child is there.


For example is there a private waiting room away from the busy reception area. That could be quieter and less likely to trigger anxieties before they even get into the dentists treatment room.

 

Can the instruments be warmed under warm water before they are used in your child’s mouth can your special needs child bring their own sun glasses along to protect their eyes rather than wear the dental glasses.


That way you can introduce the sun glasses at home before the visit, giving your special needs child time to get used to them before the check up.

 

Do you have ear muffs that could block out the noise of the drill? Ask for the mouth rinse to be plain water.


All these things need consideration before visiting the dentist with an autistic child.


One excellent autistic resource you will need to implement especially before the dental visit is a social skills story. The social skills story can help explain why they need to visit the dentist and some of the things that will happen while they are there. Research shows many parents use social stories to help prepare an autistic child to visit the dentist.


Social skills stories will give your ASD child clear instructions and explanations as to what is happening, answering the “wh” questions –  who, where, why, when and what showing visually what is happening, what they can expect from others at the time, and what others will be expecting of them.

 

Armed with a social skills story and the other suggestions I have made you can help your autistic child cope adequately visiting the dentist. Social stories are an autistic resource that is used for helping a child with autism cope with many other skills, situations, activities and events that they will come across in their everyday lives, things we take for granted as “normal”. But to an autistic child can be distressing even frightening.


For a carefully planned and written Autism dentist social story visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Where you will find more information on social skills stories that will help your child with autism cope with and understand social situations they may be struggling with like for example Autism dentist social story

Social stories for getting a haircut,

Social stories for a hospital visit

Social stories for students and so on


Visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com and get downloads of 100 social skills stories.

Treatment for autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder, and as yet there is still no known cure for autism, however there are many treatments.

 

Some help manage the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, while others address the social, behavioural and communication difficulties associated with this pervasive developmental disorder. Of all the available autism treatments any claiming to be a cure for autism is simply not so.

 

There are many different theories surrounding the “cause of autism” and as yet no one theory has proven conclusive, research into the cause of autism and the symptoms of autism is still on-going.

 

There are many different types of therapies and autism treatments developed specifically to alleviate symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 

A diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world, with the available therapies and treatment for autism it is expected that children with autism have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

 

Probably one of the most significant treatment for autism is social stories, a social story will address communication difficulties help build social skills, interaction and imagination skills as well as encourage appropriate behaviours.

 

We all need a certain amount of social and communication skills to be able to function daily. With autism the ability to learn social and communication skills is missing, however using a treatment for autism like social stories this lack of naturally learnt skills and behaviours can be addressed successfully.


Typically developing children learn through the environment and their family and peers, the child with ASD wont, therefore direct teaching is necessary.  Using social stories as a strategy for improving and teaching social skills to your child with ASD is simple, no qualifications or formal training is needed, social stories are simple to use and very effective.

 

The symptoms of autism vary between individuals, however all autistic’s tend to be visual thinkers and learners. Therefore social stories were developed to be visual, much like a visual framework of the skill or behaviour being addressed.

 

For many parents probably the most significant difficulty they struggle with is their child’s communication difficulties, for most children with autism language is confusing and often they do not understand what is expected of them. Much like if you were dropped in a foreign country, chances are you would not understand what people were saying, however if they showed you a picture chances are you would catch on pretty fast. This is the same with autism visual images and pictures trigger understanding much quicker that the spoken or written word.

 

 

For example a parent struggling to make their child understand may talk more trying to explain, this is not going to work with a child with ASD, the answer is to talk less and use visual cues prompts. For example show them a picture of the toilet, dinner etc rather than speak they will understand a lot quicker and with less stress for the both of you.

 

Using social stories as a strategy uses this knowledge; a social story is a visual representation with minimal text, always in first person language that describes the skill or behaviour from the point of view of the autistic individual.

 

The social story breaks the situation down into small pieces and each piece of the skill for example going to recess is represented by an image and text describing the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) as well as what the child with ASD may expect from others and what they will expect back from them. This will help the autistic individual feel more comfortable and in control which will reduce anxieties and stress.

 

To learn more about this treatment for autism and how using social stories as a strategy can help your child with ASD visit any of the following sites:


http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Using visual supports aids for Autism

Many children with autism are visual thinkers and learners, which means they can process and understand information better when it is presented visually, for example in pictures and images rather than orally or in written format.

 

Therefore, it is advisable that when trying to give information to a child with autism, it is normally better to avoid long verbal sentences. And to support any verbal instructions wherever possible using visual supports aids.


By using visual supports aids for autism such as visual support cards, social stories and visual timetables, the child with autism can better understand what is expected of them, or what information the other person is attempting to express.

 

Using visual supports aids for autism, for example social stories; has been proven to benefit many children and young people with autism. Social Stories are a tool for teaching social skills to children with autism and related disabilities.

 

A social story is much like a step by step visual plan, similar to a comic strip script.


The social story provides the autistic individual with accurate information about any situation, skill or behaviour they may be finding difficult, stressful or confusing.


A social story will break the situation, skill or behaviour down into small easier to understand pieces, and give key focus to the main points. Social stories attempt to answer the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) as well as attempt to give the autistic individual an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.

 

By giving the autistic individual possible reactions they may get from others as well as how others will expect them to act and why. The goal of the social story is to increase the individual’s understanding of, make him more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation, skill or behaviour.

 

By using visual support aids for Autism parents, care givers, teachers and other professionals agree that teaching and improving social and communications skills is made easier and less confusing for children with autism.

 

To learn more about social stories for children with autism visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Alternatively other sites offering downloads of social stories for children with autism can be found at:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

Do social stories work?

Social stories are short, specifically written stories to help children with autism understand a specific situation, activity or skill.

By describing what happens in a social situation in a concise, accurate and structured manner, that is easily understood by the individual with ASD.

The goal of the social story being to provide the individual with ASD a clear framework of the skill or situation, thus reducing anxieties and stresses, allowing the person with autism to rehearse and practise the skill. The social story also helps the person with autism prepare for a change to routine.

Research suggests that social stories which follow a predefined formula can make a difference in helping an individual with autism understand and improve social and communication skills and behaviours.

A social story should answer the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) using first person text and visual images, showing the individual with autism an acceptable manner of behaviour in a social situation, “without actually having to tell them”.

So do social stories work?

Yes they do, why? By attempting to address the theory of mind, or social skills deficits that all individuals with ASD have.

For many autistic people being able to understand the thoughts and actions of those around them is missing this is due to the theory of mind or social skills deficits. As typically developing beings we are able to “mind read” or predict another persons mood, thoughts, feelings and emotions by simply reading their facial expression, body language and tone of voice or suggestions. With the ASD individual this natural ability is missing.

A social story can help an individual with ASD understand the thoughts and emotions of the people that they may interact with.

By using visual images a social story can be better understood, as generally most autistic people are visual thinkers and learners. The social story is set out in much the same manner as a comic strip conversation, making it easier for the ASD individual to follow.

A social story should be written in first person language and always from the point of view of the autistic individual.

Research shows us that children with autism do respond well to social stories, thus many parents, care givers and teachers use social stories regularly to help improve and encourage positive social and communication skills.

To find out more about social stories and how that can hep your child with ASD visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com

For other specific social stories for your child with ASD visit:
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Social stories for children on the spectrum

Social stories can be used as a treatment to help improve the social and communication skills of children on the spectrum.

Generally all children with autism spectrum disorder will have social skills deficits in social, communication, imagination and interaction skills and behaviours.

It is because of these social skills deficits children on the spectrum have difficulties with social situations, for example making friends, sharing, taking turns play skills and so on.

Social stories were first used as a means of communication, developed around twenty years ago by a therapist that at the time was working with autistic children. Since then social stories have grown in popularity and uses and are now regularly used to teach and improve the social and communication skills of those individuals on the spectrum.

Today social stories are probably one of the major tools used to help individuals on the spectrum learn social and communication skills and behaviours and can be easily adapted to suit their differing needs. There are many sites on the internet offering downloads of social stories for children on the spectrum, one such site is http://www.autismsocialstories.com

A social story is a short descriptive story, like a comic strip with visual images that details a situation or skill in small bite sized pieces, that can be easily understood and followed, by an autistic individual.

The social story follows a specific formula and is normally written in first person language and from the point of view of the autistic individual. With no frill language and visual images the social story breaks the situation or skill down in to relevant social cues, answering the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what).

Allowing individuals on the spectrum the opportunity to see what others are expecting of them, how they may be feeling, their emotions,  and give them an idea of what others may be expecting from them.

Social stories for children on the spectrum are used for various situations and skills that the child may be struggling with, like recess, hygiene skills, eating habits etc.

Many parents and teachers use social stories with great results, research suggests children with autism spectrum disorder do respond very well to social stories.

To find out how you can use social stories for children on the spectrum visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com where you will be able to find more information and downloads of social stories.

Having autism and the ability to mind read

The term “Mind reading” probably conjures up thoughts of psychics and mystical beings. This however is not the case. As typically developing beings we have the ability to predict the thoughts and feelings of those around us, by reading the person’s facial and body language. This ability is often referred to as the theory of mind.

With autism however the theory of mind is missing, an autistic individual will struggle to predict emotion, thought, feelings and desires by simply reading the persons body and facial language and expression.

Consequently for those having autism this lack of theory of mind or non-verbal communication skills can cause social blunders at times, which in itself can leave the autistic individual open to bullying in some cases.

Research into autism suggests that children with autism can be helped learn and develop social and communication skills. Including non-verbal communication skills successfully, by using appropriate methods and treatments for autism and related conditions, such as visual support cards, PECS and social stories.

For many children with autism and the ability to mind read is aided successfully using these methods. Social stories are short descriptive visual representations of a skill or behaviour much like a visual framework they can follow. Taking a situation or skill that they are struggling with, like for example, respecting personal space and making it more predictable and routine.

All autistic individuals will want routine and sameness this is a symptom of autism. By using social stories you can easily make unpredictable situations, stressful situations even everyday skills and behaviours that the autistic individual is struggling with more routine, by giving them a clear precise structured framework to follow.

Social stories are appropriate methods and treatments for autism and related conditions. By using visual images, the social story makes it easier to understand the skill. For those with autism information is absorbed and understood far easier if that information is given visually as with visual support cards and social stories.

The social story follows a specific formula of specially designed short no frill sentences with visual images. To download appropriate social stories for children with autism and related conditions visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Or for other specific social stories for children with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills