Posts Tagged ‘on the autism spectrum’

Strategies that help autistic children

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of developmental disorders such as autism, atypical autism, high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Strategies that help autistic childrenGenerally a child with autism will have social skills deficits in social interaction skills, communication skills and imagination skills. Some children on the autism spectrum may also have difficulties with sensory processing issues, for example – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

Difficulties in these areas mean that a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will probably have difficulties understanding and following instructions.

A child with autism may understand simple commands but may have difficulties with long or complicated instructions.

For many children on the autism spectrum shifting their attention from one activity to another can be difficult and cause anxieties, generally an autistic child will need time to process given instructions.

For parents and teachers this can be frustrating, however repeating the instruction is not going to help, this will just add to the child’s anxieties, the more you talk the more pressure the autistic child is going to feel under and the more confused they will become.

All autistic children will struggle to understand spoken or written instruction this is mainly due to their social skills deficits which as we learnt earlier are common to autism. Communication difficulties are probably one of the major struggles parents face with their child.

For children with autism communication difficulties are common, a child on the spectrum may fail to recognise nonverbal communication such as facial expression or body language and may not recognise nonverbal communication such as gesturing or pointing etc.

However there are strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills.

For example PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are all strategies that help autistic children learn vital every day and less common social interaction skills, address communication difficulties and help develop imagination skills.

The purpose or goal of a social story is to provide the child with autism with a prompt for socially appropriate behaviour, help them become familiar with a situation, and to respond appropriately.

The social story is also used as a transition tool, helping the child with autism move on, help prepare them for a new experience, change to routine and prevent negative or inappropriate reactions that stem from a lack of social understanding.

A social story is a short story that has been written in a specific style and format. That uses visual images much like a comic script that gives the child with autism information through pictures and text providing clear, concise and accurate information about what is happening.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions ~ who, what, why, where and when as well as giving an insight into the emotions, thoughts and feelings of others and giving appropriate responses to social skills and situations the child with autism may otherwise be struggling with or may find confusing.

To obtain social skills stories that are used as strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills visit

Social perception in autism

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Generally most children on the autism spectrum will appear aloof even rude at times, free of pretences, oblivious to public opinion and not concerned with making a good impression. Children on the spectrum are honest, if you do not want a straight forward answer don’t ask, they will not pretend and will not care if they hurt your feelings by being honest.

For children with autism a lack of social skills can lead in many cases to bullying, isolation and ridicule. A child on the spectrum will not worry about how others perceive them or whether they are considered cool or not by their peers.

A lack of social perception in autism can be helped by using supports designed to teach children on the spectrum why we need social skills, what they are and how to conduct themselves.

Most children with ASD are visual thinkers and learners and will respond better to visual information, such as visual autistic supports. There are many visual autistic supports available to use, but probably the most effective visual support for children on the spectrum is social stories.

Social perception in autism is a problem. Social skills stories tackle the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others.

For example: You’re at a friend’s house, your friend’s son is playing nicely with his toy, but your son wants that toy. You have tried to tell him to wait, you turn your back and there is a yell! Your friend’s son is crying nursing a bitten arm, while your son is happily playing with the toy. Your son has not waited to share or asked nicely, his social awareness skills are missing, he wanted the toy therefore he took the toy.

What do you do? Stay in the home and never go out? NO of cause not, you teach your child on the spectrum appropriate social skills. Easier said than done? MAYBE…But introducing visual autistic supports such as social skills stories can really make a difference.

A social skills story is aimed specifically at children on the spectrum, written by experts, needs no formal training to use, can be printed out for ease of use and convenience, will slip into your bag to take with you while out. A social story can be edited and personalized to suit your child’s ability and language recognition.

Social skills stories are normally visually rich using visual imaged to show your child with first person text how and why we do what we do or why we use certain behaviours.

Social skills stories are used widely by parents, teachers, care givers and other professionals to teach a child on the spectrum appropriate social skills, they are also used to aid communication difficulties and to reduce negative behaviours such as biting, stimming, asking inappropriate questions and so on.

Social skills stories can also be used to help prepare for changes to routines, unexpected events or happenings, hygiene issues, in fact almost all social, communication and imagination issues can be dealt with by using social stories as a strategy.

To learn more about how to use social skills stories as a strategy when teaching social perception in autism visit: