Posts Tagged ‘individuals with autism’

How do Social Stories Help Children with Autism Learn Social Skills?

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder find social skills difficult and confusing this is due to their autistic deficits

What are Autistic Deficits?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder which affects how an individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts. The characteristics of autism are deficits in social, communication and imagination skills.

Typically children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures, therefore Visual Supports are of more benefit.

Visual Supports like social stories are used as a means of communication and as a method of support when teaching and re-enforcing skills and behaviours that the ASD child is finding difficult.

So: How do Social Stories Help Children with Autism Learn Social Skills

 

The answer is YES they can. Introduced around twenty years ago social stories are now one of the major Visual Supports used in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions.

Social stories are short descriptive pieces of text which use visual images to describe a situation or skill using appropriate key points. Much like a comic script the social skills story can be easily implemented and needs no formal training to use.

Social stories are a role model or visual step by step plan of a skill or situation. Social stories should follow a set formula of sentence type: Descriptive, Directive, Perspective and control sentences in a manner the child with ASD will be able to follow easily.

Typically a social skills story will answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give an insight into the thoughts and feeling of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with Autism.

Generally any treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder should be visual, easy to implement, and convenient for use in the home, as well as a t school and college.

A social skills story will help with transitions, changes to routines which is another area of difficulty for the vast majority of individuals with Autism, as well as learning new skills, changing behaviours, re-enforcing already learnt skills, in-fact almost all situations and skills the child with ASD is struggling with.

To learn more about how social stories are used, written and implemented visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

What causes autistic behaviour issues?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

To understand what causes autistic behaviour issues it is important to have an understanding of autism.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects how individuals with autism processes information, thinks, acts, re-acts, behaves and processes sensory input or stimuli. The main symptoms of autism ARE social skills deficits in social awareness skills, communication and imagination skills and behaviours.

It is these social skills deficits that ARE the significant factor in what causes autistic behaviour issues. Typically children on the autism spectrum have communication difficulties and may lack the ability to ask or respond to things which their typically developing peers WILL treat as “normal”

For example recess a typically developing child WILL probably enjoy the freedom of recess but for children on the autism spectrum recess may be uncomfortable, stressful and confusing! This may lead to inappropriate behaviour around recess.

For a child with autism the sheer chaos of recess is upsetting, a child with autism WILL prefer sameness, order and routine and recess is none of these things. Children with autism have difficulties in understanding that not everyone shares their interest or feels that same way they do fully.

By taking a look into what causes autistic behaviour issues we can begin to unravel what it is that our own child with autism may be getting upset or confused by. Careful observation of a child with autism CAN help you to determine exactly what is troubling your child.

There are various supports for autism that WILL help a child on the spectrum OVERCOME many of their social skills deficits. Probably one of the most significant of these supports for autism is social skills stories.

These ARE short descriptive pieces of text that describe a situation or skill in terms of the relevant social cues. We know that the vast majority of individuals with autism ARE VISUAL thinkers and learners which means that they think in pictures and language is used as secondary.

It is important therefore to USE supports for autism which ARE VISUAL like social stories. Social stories for autistic behaviour difficulties focus on a skill, situation or behaviour that the child on the spectrum is struggling with and breaks it down into small easy to understand sections using images/pictures and first person text.

The social skills story CAN act much like a visual plan or framework of the skill allowing the child on the spectrum a chance to rehearse the skill. So going back to our recess example earlier, introducing a social story for recess WILL HELP the child with autism prepare for and understand recess. The social skills story can be looked at each day before recess, helping the child with autism feel more comfortable once recess arrives.

The social skills story CAN BE USED for a wide variety of difficulties, such as self-help skills, communication deficits, hygiene skills, behaviours and many more, in-fact almost anything the child with autism is finding hard.

Typically social stories answer the ever important “wh” question – who, what, why, where and when as well as “HOW” and WILL offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with autism.

To learn more about social stories for autistic behaviour difficulties visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

Or

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

Autistic Visual Supports

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Individuals with autism ARE typically “Visual Thinkers – Visual Learners”, this means that they think in pictures and images and use speech / words as a secondary language.

“I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me…when somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures… One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills.” (Grandin, 1995).

Therefore presenting information and guidance visually will have a much better impact on individuals with autism.  There are a number of visual supports for autism which WILL help your child on the spectrum learn skills and behaviours that they find confusing, stressful or simply do not understand.

Autistic Visual Supports like: Social Skills Stories, Communication Picture Cards (flash cards), PECS and so on CAN be quickly and easily implemented and need NO formal training to use.

Social Skills Stories are short descriptive visual representations of a skill or behaviour. The social story breaks the skill down into smaller components, removes and un-necessary fluff or language and explains How and why something happens.

The social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, where, why and when and provides an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with autism.


Autistic Visual Supports – Communication Picture Cards (flash cards)
ARE small laminated cards depicting an image or skill. For eample the Communication Picture Cards can be USED as an exchange –  the child with ASD hands over a picture card in retuen for the item on the card  -for example an apple at snack time and so on.

The Communication Picture Cards are also USED on visual timetables, as pointers around the home or in school, on chices boards, now and next boards and as a communication tool.

Both Social Skills Stories and Communication Picture Cards ARE available from: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

To learn more about Autistic Visual Supports and how they can benefit your child with ASD visit today and download Social Skills Stories which can be adapted to suit individual needs, no two children are the smane and we all use different terminology with our kids, therefore it is important that the social story you choose is editable.

Visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

Using visual support to teach hygiene in autism

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Unlike typically developing children a child on the spectrum WILL NOT naturally develop self-care skills, and WILL NEED direct teaching.

Typically individuals with autism ARE visual thinkers and learners, which means that they think in pictures and WILL respond better to teaching materials and strategies which ARE VISUAL.

Using visual support to teach hygiene in autism is essential in most instances, typically developing youngsters will people watch and pick up on self-care skills, but children with autism DO NOT people watch and in most instances WILL NOT naturally learn self-care skills. A good social skills story can HELP the child on the spectrum learn essential hygiene skills.

For most individuals with autism hygiene can be confusing and in some cases even a painful experience! This is due to social skills deficits and sensory processing difficulties.

Social skills deficits ARE present in ALL individuals with autism, but to varying degrees dependant on where the individual is on the autism spectrum scale.

Using visual support to teach hygiene in autism is beneficial. Visual supports such as “social skills stories” ARE USED to HELP children with autism understand and deal with situations or skills that they find difficult or confusing like: puberty, washing their teeth, visiting a dentist and so on.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and gives the young person with autism an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others, which is an area of marked weakness in those on the spectrum.

Social skills stories will normally be written in first person text and is always written from the point of view of the young person with autism.

No two people on the spectrum are ever going to be the same and we all use different terminology, therefore the social skills story needs to be editable and easy to tweak.

To learn more about social stories for hygiene in autism and to see an example of social stories for hygiene in autism visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

Alternatively visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Visual support social stories for autism

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

 Typically individuals with autism WILL display deficits in social cognition, the ability to think in ways necessary for appropriate social interactions.

How will this affect your child?

 

The theory of mind tells us of the difficulties individuals with autism have in predicting the actions, thoughts, feelings and emotions of another person. This inability can be overcome using visual support social stories for autism which ARE used to help individuals with autism “read” and understand social situations.

Visual support social stories for autism present appropriate social behaviours in the form of a descriptive short story, a bit like a comic script.

Originally social stories were developed as a means of communication. Today, social stories ARE used for a wide variety of situations and skills. The social skills story WILL include answers to the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what allowing the child with autism to interact appropriately with others.

What are social stories?

 

The social skills story CAN help the child with autism practise or rehearse a situation or skill that they ARE having problems with for example asking questions, making friends, visiting a dentist and so on.

Commonly those with autism ARE visual thinkers and learners, this means that they think in pictures, and WILL respond better to visual information and instruction.

This concept is followed in visual support social stories for autism, which USE images or pictures to visually explain the skill or situation in terms of the relevant social cues, acting like a visual sep by step plan or role model.

Generally written by experts in autism the social skills story will normally follow a set pattern of four sentence types: Descriptive, Directive, Perspective and control.

As well as being visual the social story can HELP the child with autism OVERCOME many difficulties like puberty for example.

Social stories ARE generally written in first person text and from the autistic person’s point of view, the social skills story should be editable and easy to personalize as no two children with autism will ever be the same and we all use different terminology with our child.

If you would like to see an example social skills story and get immediate downloads of social stories for children with autism visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

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