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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

What can we tell you?

About Autism

Teaching with Pictures

Autism and Language

The Research Effectiveness of the Language Builder® Academic Readiness Intervention System (ARIS)

The Academic Readiness Intervention System (ARIS) is a new comprehensive early autism education curriculum based on the Language Builder Picture Cards created over twenty years ago by Stages Learning and widely used in classrooms and therapeutic settings.

Updated on 5/5/17 1:55 AM

Updated by John Richards, Ph.D., Leslie Stebbins, M.Ed., MLIS and Angela Nelson, J.D.; M.Ed. on 5/5/17 1:55 AM

Autism and Language

The Twitter Accounts Every School SLP Must Follow

Twitter is a valuable tool for professional development (PD) and community building, especially for members of the education community. The platform is a must-have for digitally literate teachers who use their timelines, followers, and hashtags to inform and improve their PD and pedagogy.

Updated on 2/25/17 2:59 PM

Updated by Michelle Manno on 2/25/17 2:59 PM

Early Childhood Education

Autism and Language

Autism & Emotions

Social Thinking: 6 Strategies for Teaching Children with Autism

What is Social Thinking?

Social Thinking is a flexible teaching framework that is designed to help individuals ages four and up with autism spectrum disorder and other social and communication difficulties. The framework helps these individuals better understand the process by which we interpret the thoughts, beliefs, intentions, emotions, and actions of another person within the context of a situation. We use this information every day to better understand the experience of those around us. This understanding helps us respond in a way that will effect the other person’s thoughts about us in order to ultimately achieve our social goals.

Updated on 2/1/17 11:25 PM

Updated by Courtney Chase on 2/1/17 11:25 PM

Early Childhood Education

Autism and Language

Autism & Emotions

How to Foster Social Skills Development at School: A Guide for Teachers and School Counselors

Social Skills & Autism 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction. This can include challenges in social-emotional reciprocity and non-verbal communication used in social interactions. This can often lead to children with autism having a hard time developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with their peers.

Stages Learning Emotion Cards

Updated on 12/8/16 11:54 PM

Updated by Courtney Chase on 12/8/16 11:54 PM

Early Childhood Education

Inclusive Education

Autism and Language

Let's Build: How Playing With Blocks Benefits Children

It’s no surprise that colorful building blocks are a staple in early childhood centers, given the robust research that supports benefits gained from playing with blocks. Besides the simple joy in building and creating, playing with blocks improves literacy and storytelling skills, builds engineering and mathematical concepts, and teaches young children about communication and collaboration.

Updated on 10/22/16 11:00 AM

Updated by Sophia Chung on 10/22/16 11:00 AM

Autism and Language

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

“What Happens Next?”: Strategies for Teaching Your Child Sequencing Skills

Sequencing is the ability to logically order events, images, thoughts, and actions. Why is sequencing important for children?

Updated on 7/24/16 2:12 PM

Updated by Grace Chen on 7/24/16 2:12 PM

Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

Teaching with Pictures

Autism and Language

Autism & Emotions

Go Fish with the Language Builder Emotion Cards!

This lesson plan gives the classic card game Go Fish an emotional makeover! Students work on their expressive and receptive vocabulary and understanding of the five basic emotions, all while practicing social skills, taking turns, and following the rules of the game.

In a hurry?  Download a one page description of this lesson plan by clicking on the picture below:

Updated on 8/30/14 7:57 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 7:57 PM

Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

Language Builder App

Autism and Language

Autism Technology

Using the Language Builder App with Picture Bingo

Lesson Description

Students will use the “Picture Identification” activity within the Language Builder app to call out the bingo prompt.  

Updated on 8/30/14 7:51 PM

Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 7:51 PM

Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

Language Builder App

Autism and Language

Autism Technology

Using the Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards Together

So you’ve just downloaded the new Language Builder app. That means you can throw out all your paper flash cards right? NO!! As you may have already realized through our previous blogs, we are big proponents for blending hands-on and digital learning. There are so many ways that you can combine both digital and tangible resources to support deeper engagement.

Our intent with the app is to complement, rather than replace, the physical products. We will begin a new blog series demonstrating ways to use your physical language builder cards and other Stages products in conjunction with the app. 

Updated on 8/30/14 7:49 PM

Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 7:49 PM

About Autism

Autism and Language

Autism Technology

NEW Language Builder Software

I am happy to report that Stages Learning Materials has finally taken the leap into the 21st century!

The Language Builder cards have become a staple in autism and speech therapy programs across the country, and even abroad. I regularly attend conferences where parents and therapists alike tell me that they use the cards every day at home or in their practice. The other thing I hear at every conference I attend ... "When will the Language Builder Cards be available in a software program I can use on the computer?" That day has finally come!

Updated on 8/30/14 7:45 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 8/30/14 7:45 PM

Teaching with Pictures

Language Builder App

Autism and Language

Autism Technology

Flash Cards vs. iPad Apps: Which is Best?

All over the news, we see stories about kids with autism and their iPads. Rookie reporters tout the devices as The Next Big Thing, even going so far as to refer to them as cures. I’m sure we would all agree that the touch screen tablets are amazing, for little and big kids alike. But where’s the research backing their use for educational purposes for our students? In one word, nonexistent. As a doctoral student at Montreal’s McGill University, I aim to change that.

The focus of my upcoming thesis is on developing a rigorous and research-based understanding of using iPads to teach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I have been extremely fortunate to meet with the Stages Learning Materials staff, and receive their support to use the Language Builder Picture Cards and the newly created Language Builder from Stages app to test which method results in better and faster learning of receptive and expressive language.

Updated on 8/30/14 7:23 PM

Updated by Hayley Vininsky, M.S., BCBA on 8/30/14 7:23 PM

Language Builder App

Autism and Language

Autism Technology

New Features Added to the Language Builder App

On March 10th of this year, Stages Learning Materials released the Language Builder from Stages App, and we have had an amazing response! Hundreds of parents, therapists, and teachers are now using the Language Builder App to teach 6 early ABA activities to children with autism. But we are far from finished adding features to the app!

Updated on 5/21/14 11:19 AM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 5/21/14 11:19 AM

Teaching with Pictures

Autism and Language

Part 4 of 4: Labeling and Requesting

Additional Activities to Develop Sentence Skills

Labeling and Requesting are the most basic of all full sentence activities, and provide a basis for your student to understand that communication requires more than single word utterances. The following list of activities offers just a few examples of the many lessons you can use to help build full sentences and a more complete system of communication with your child.

Updated on 4/29/14 2:49 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/29/14 2:49 PM

About Autism

Autism and Language

Part 2 of 4: Building Vocabulary

Building Expressive Vocabulary

This is the step where your child learns to actually say the words out loud. All of the tasks we just described in the previous Autism and Language article come into play when building your child’s expressive vocabulary. Picture cards are a useful tool again, because it just isn’t feasible to bring every object directly to your child. We certainly want them to learn the words bus and airplane, but it’s difficult to get those items into your living room!

Updated on 4/29/14 1:32 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/29/14 1:32 PM

About Autism

Autism and Language

Part 1 of 4: Encouraging Emerging Language and Receptive Vocabulary

Emerging Language and Building Vocabulary

Language development varies from child to child, and there are wide ranges of expected “normal” language development in young children. If you have specific concerns about the pace of your child’s language development, you should definitely discuss this with your health care professional. However, for reference sake, by the age of two a child is expected to be able to:

Updated on 4/18/14 2:14 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/18/14 2:14 PM

Teaching with Pictures

Autism and Language

Part 3 of 4: From Basic Vocabulary to Building Sentences

The most popular use of the Language Builder Picture Card Series is to build vocabulary. The realistic and current photos help students to learn the name of various nouns, occupations, and emotions. In the beginning, this task can be very repetitive and basic, focusing only on learning single-word responses. When a child with autism begins to gain expressive language skills, parents and educators are thrilled to watch how the child moves from basic vocabulary to building sentences.

Updated on 4/18/14 10:38 AM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/18/14 10:38 AM

About Autism

Teaching with Pictures

Autism and Language

Using Picture Cards to Aid Speech

A common challenge for children and adults with autism is their ability to communicate. Many a parent and therapist will tell you that Picture Cards are one of the best tools to aid in communication with individuals with autism, whether the individual is verbal or non verbal.

Updated on 4/15/14 2:40 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/15/14 2:40 PM

Early Childhood Education

Autism and Language

Language Milestones

How many professionals have been asked: “How do I know if my child is behind in language development?” How many parents have asked the question, or at  l east  w ondered to themselves?

Language development varies from child to child, and there are wide ranges of expected “normal” language development in young children. If you are using Stages Learning Materials products with your own child, and you are concerned about language development, you should definitely discuss this with your health care professional. However, for reference sake, in general:

Updated on 4/14/14 5:05 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/14/14 5:05 PM

Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

Autism and Language

Lang-O-Learn Everyday Objects & Kid in a Story App

Stages Learning Materials is starting a new blog series around blending digital and hands-on learning. There are a lot of mixed messages surrounding the use of technology in early childhood. In a recent Edutopia article, Beth Holland advises teachers and parents to look beyond all the negative screen time publicity and to ask themselves three questions when choosing to use digital materials:

  1. Is it appropriate?
  2. Is it meaningful?
  3. Is it empowering?

Lesson Overview

Students will use Everyday Object Lang-O-Learn Cards in conjunction with Kid in a Story app to build vocabulary on common objects that can be found around the home and at school. The app enables sharing between parents, therapists, and teachers, which leads to consistency across all environments. 

Objectives/Goals

  • Build expressive and receptive vocabulary surrounding common objects. 
  • Sharing activities across all learning environments (home, school, therapy).
  • Build digital and print literacy.

Updated on 4/14/14 2:16 PM

Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/14/14 2:16 PM

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