Many parents make the decision not to send their autistic child to preschool, opting instead for the safe option of caring for their autistic infant at home.
However this option is not always ideal and many parents feel their autistic infant would benefit from preschool, or maybe work and family commitments means some parents are forced to make the decision of sending their autistic child to preschool.
No matter what the reason the outcome is the same finding and then helping your autistic child with the transition from being at home to being in preschool is going to be difficult and stressful unless you are prepared and armed with appropriate help and resources which can make this transition smoother.
To help to your preschool autistic child with the transition into preschool tackling their autistic social skills deficits will be helpful.
Children with autism will always have autistic social skills deficits, these are difficulties with social and communication both verbal and non verbal skills as well as deficits in imagination and interaction skills.
Generally, children with autism do not develop socially in the same manner as their typically developing peers. Typically developing children learn social skills through play and their environment; this is not the case with preschool autistic children.
Most preschools or nursery schools will expect a certain amount of social and communication skills. Therefore if it is your decision to apply and send your autistic toddler to preschool, you must first find out and ensure your autistic toddler meets any criteria.
If he does not it might be a good idea to first have a meeting with the teacher and explain at what level your autistic toddler is and how you can help to make the transition easier.
The preschool may ask that you come in with your child or that he attends for shorter periods, they may even refuse entrance until the appropriate social and communication skills have been learnt.
By social and communication skills, generally this will mean that your child is clean, for example can use potty or toilet, most preschools do not mind the odd accident. It may also mean your child can communicate, for example can answer simple questions, can recognize their own name and will be able to follow simple instructions. They may also require that your autistic toddler is able to feed themselves etc.
These are all general social and communication skills necessary from all children entering preschool.
There are ways in which you can help develop social and communication skills in your autistic child. This can be done at home the rest of the family can all help also should you wish.
Many parents are turning more and more to resources such as social skills stories for autistic children to help them develop appropriate social and communication skills in their preschool autistic youngster.
First developed almost twenty years ago the social skills stories for autistic children are designed to promote and teach social and communication skills. They were fist introduced by therapist Carol Gray to teach social and communication skills to the autistic children she was herself working with.
Since then social skills stories for autistic children have evolved into a huge resource widely respected and used by not only parents but also teachers, care givers and other professionals working with autistic children.
They are generally visually rich which is important, as most autistic children are visual learners and will respond far better to visual representations rather than the written or spoken word.
They also follow a set pattern of four different sentence types, which describe the skill in detail with the focus being on the important social cue.
Social skills stories are always written in the first person, and from the preschool autistic youngster’s point of view.
Research does show us that parents of autistic children that introduce social skills stories to their autistic child have had tremendous success rates in teaching essential daily life skills such as potty training, toilet training, help with eating habits, personal hygiene and other skills such as pretend play, making friends, asking questions, controlling anger and various other social and communication skills.
The internet makes it possible for parents of autistic children to readily source social skills stories from sites such as: www.autismsocialstories.com
PLUS various other sites dedicated to social skills stories for autistic children, teaching new social skills like potty training can be found at:www.autismsocialstories.com/potty
Or preschool autism stories at sites such as: www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool
The internet is a host to many sites offering social skills stories to parents of autistic children which can help with issues like preschool autism as well as other issues sites such as: